Iranian Offshore Rig Soon to Start Operations in Persian Gulf

Khademi said this is the first modern rig bought and equipped by Iranian oil and gas drilling contractors in the last 30 years.

The logistics base set up on Kish Island will be used to support operations in the Persian Gulf, he added.

Iran plans to further expand its offshore and onshore drilling fleet over the next two years from 98 to 134.

Meantime, Head of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) Ahmad Qalebani said Iran plans to increase the number of its drilling rigs operating in onshore and offshore oilfields by 36 units to reach 134 units by March 2014.

Qalebani said that the country's daily oil and gas outputs should amount to five million barrels and 1.47 billion cubic meters by 2015. Some 2,500 oil and gas wells should be drilled and commissioned during Iran's fifth five year economic development plan (2010-2015).

Massoud Haghighi, NIOC's head of marine projects, pointed out that Iran's neighbors have increased their share of resources by strengthening their fleet in the Persian Gulf.

NIOC's goal under the country's Fifth National Development Plan (2011- 2015) is to drill 500 offshore wells.

"To achieve the objective we need 40 drilling rigs while currently there are 20 rigs in the Persian Gulf," he added.

Iran has made giant advancements in the oil drilling industry. Khademi announced on Thursday that Iran has earned some USD300 million from drilling 30 oil wells in Turkmenistan waters in the Caspian Sea during the last 5 years.

He said that the country has prepared comprehensive plans to carry out drilling operations and export technical and engineering services to different countries.