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Renewed Interest in Offshore Exploration

Oil exploration in the Persian Gulf is now on the agenda of the National Iranian Oil Company's exploration department that is why "Sahar 1" drilling rig will be employed to expand explorations in the region, Saleh Hendi, director of drilling operations at NIOC said Monday.

The department and North Drilling Company signed a contract based on which the latter will provide NIOC with a jack-up offshore drilling rig for two years, Shana reported.

"NIOC has widened the scope of exploration activities in the Persian Gulf," Hendi noted, adding that oil/gas exploration in the strategic waterway is of high significance. Commenting on offshore drilling as per the contract with NDC, the official said plans are in place to drill at depths of 1,350 meters up to 2,000 meters.

"Initially, one well will be drilled in one of the joint oilfields in the Persian Gulf and priorities of exploration in the zone will be announced gradually."

Pointing to NIOC plans for oil exploration in the Sea of Oman, he noted that an oil well is to be drilled in the area by end of the sixth economic development plan (2016-21), which will mark a new chapter in NIOC exploration activities. According to NDC managing director, Hamidreza Golpayegani, Sahar 1 drilling rig is in South Pars region and as soon as it ends its operation in the zone, it will start drilling in the Persian Gulf within four months.

Golpayegani added that the NDC has drilled 115 onshore wells as well as 113 offshore wells in the Persian Gulf and in areas bordering Turkmenistan in the Caspian Sea.

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