A leading member of Iran’s oil industry has stated that the country now has the technological expertise to build its own offshore oil and gas drilling rigs.
According to Iranian media reports, Ali Yadqar, the managing director of the Razavi Oil and Gas Development Company, made the statement during a ceremony at which the company signed a contract with the Islamic Republic’s Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade to build five offshore drilling rigs. Yadqar said that 54% of the first rig of the five would be manufactured in Iran. He also predicted that, by the time construction of the fifth rig begins, increased Iranian know-how would mean 84% of components would be manufactured domestically.
The five-rig contract is reported to be worth $1.1 billion. The Razavi consortium of companies will carry out the project and the rigs will be built at the Khorramshahr yard on the Persian Gulf, close to the border with Iraq. At the same ceremony an official from Tasdid Maritime Structures Development Company said that the designs of the rigs are complete, and permits have been obtained. Work is under way to identify Iranian companies technologically capable of manufacturing equipment for the rigs.
The news comes as oil majors BP and Shell have publicly voiced their interest in returning to Iran if a deal is reached on its nuclear energy programme and trade sanctions are lifted. Iran admits to still requiring foreign help: last month the country’s oil minister said it needs foreign investment of around $200 billion to revitalize its oil and gas industry.