NIOC hits back at Iran MPs

TEHRAN June 20(Shana)–National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) has struck back at a group of lawmakers who have complained about the marginalization of Iranian companies in the petroleum industry projects.

NIOC released a lengthy statement to explain about the contribution of Iranian companies mainly to drilling activities in the country’s giant offshore South Pars gas field.

It came after 70 lawmakers signed a petition to President Hassan Rouhani, calling for more attention to Iranian companies.

The statement said Pars Oil and Gas Company (POGC) has awarded its drilling projects for South Pars to National Iranian Drilling Company (NIDC), Petropars, Dana Drilling, Petro Gowhar Farasahel Kish and Oil Industries Engineering and Construction (OIEC).

NIOC noted that drilling in South Pars used to be done only by foreign companies like France’s energy giant Total, Norway’s Statoil and Italy’s Eni.

It said Iran’s offshore drilling is being managed by Iranian Offshore Engineering Company (IOOC) and POGC.

It added that North Drilling Company (NDCO) is the supplier of two drilling rigs for South Pars.

The statement said the share of Iranian companies’ contribution to South Pars drilling activities has risen from zero to 50% following the pullout of foreign companies under pressure from international sanctions.

South Pars, divided into 29 development phases, holds 40 tcm of natural gas, or 21% of world’s total gas reserves, and 50 billion barrels of condensate.

South Pars covers an area of 9,700 square kilometers, 3,700 square kilometers of which are in Iran’s territorial waters in the Persian Gulf. The remaining 6,000 square kilometers are situated in Qatar’s territorial waters.

The gas field is estimated to contain a significant amount of natural gas, accounting for about eight percent of the world’s reserves, and approximately 18 billion barrels of condensate.