NIOC ropes in Maersk for South Pars exploration
National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) reportedly negotiating with Maersk for the development of the second phase of the South Pars oil layer, deputy managing director says
Iran has entered negotiations with Danish oil major Maersk Oil, part of the Maersk Group business conglomerate, for oil exploration from the South Pars gas field, Press TV has reported.
Negotiations have been held with Maersk for the development of the second phase of the South Pars oil layer, deputy managing director of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), Gholam-Reza Manuchehri, said last week.
"Using modern technologies and horizontal drilling in view of the heaviness of the oil at the South Pars layer are the most important development scenarios for this oil field, which is shared with Qatar," Manuchehri said.
Reportedly, NIOC plans to drill 300 wells at the South Pars oil layer, which requires Improved Oil Recovery (IOR) and Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) technologies to reach crude oil.
Manuchehri said he believes that only few international companies possess such technologies, with the Danish company considered to be a “powerful” candidate for development of the South Pars oil layer.
"Negotiations with the Danish company are underway but nothing is final yet," he said.
According to Fars news agency, visiting deputy managing director of Maersk Paul Munk Andersen said on Tuesday, "We are ready for cooperation with Iranian companies to promote Iranian oil industry upstream sector."
According to Press TV, Maersk Group is cooperating with Qatar in the shared field referred to as North Dome.
Manuchehri said the development of the South Pars oil layer is among the Iranian oil ministry’s priorities, to be offered to foreign companies under Iran’s new oil contract model.
Iranian companies are working on the first phase of the project and are expected to pump 35,000 bpd of oil by March 2017.
Combined, the Iranian South Pars and the Qatari North Dome are considered to be the world’s largest gas field.
According to the International Energy Agency, the field holds an estimated 51tr cubic meters of in-situ natural gas and some 50bn barrels of natural gas condensate.
In January, the Islamic Republic’s oil minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh said that Maersk is also interested in developing Iran’s deepwater hydrocarbon reserves in the Caspian Sea.