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EghtesadOnline: The National Iranian Drilling Company is scrutinizing proposals presented by the Italian giant oil company Eni as well as Russia's Lukoil to undertake drilling projects in Iraq. Karam Ali Naderi, NIDC's marketing manager, made the statement on the sidelines of a ceremony to sign a memorandum of understanding with a domestic Iraqi drilling company in Ahvaz, aimed at conducting drilling and overhaul operations in Basra and Zubair oilfields, Shana reported.

"Eni and Lukoil have won tenders to implement drilling operations in Iraq," he said, noting that NIDC has received proposals to join after selecting an Iraqi business partner.

According to the official, NIDC had participated in tenders held by Eni for drilling projects in Iraq and now that the results have been announced, the company should study the proposals.

"NIDC, a subsidiary of the National Iranian Oil Company, is making every effort to secure its footprint in the oil- and gas-rich Iraq to expand its activities overseas," Naderi said. According to Sepehr Sepehri, NIDC's managing director, the company is pursuing two major targets in the neighboring country, namely cooperation in oil and gas drilling projects and sharing expertise, Financial Tribune reported.

"We are planning to hold talks with Iraqi companies, including Iraqi Drilling Company … NIDC is also ready to prepare the ground for training and market expansion," he said.

The official added that after Iraq, NIDC has prioritized cooperation with Oman and Qatar. NIDC has also taken part in oil and drilling tenders in Oman and Central Asian countries, and is negotiating with foreign companies for drilling projects.

Iran and Iraq had reached an agreement on drilling cooperation in late 2013, whereby NIDC undertook training for Iraqi companies using electronic systems as well as fluid mechanics engineering.

Known as one of the leading players in oil and gas drilling industry among Middle East states, NIDC engages in the exploration, development and delineation drilling of oil and gas wells, especially in joint oilfields, namely South Azadegan in Khuzestan Province along the Iraq border, Azar in Ilam Province and South Pars, the world's largest gas field shared between Iran and Qatar in the Persian Gulf.

  Completed Operations

According to Sepehri, the firm has completed operations to drill more than 156 exploration, appraisal, repair and developmental offshore and onshore oil and gas wells since August 2017.

Giving a breakdown, he noted that of the total, 67 wells were developmental, 4 were categorized as appraisal, one was exploratory and the rest were in need of repair. The company’s services include well logging, cementing and acidizing, drill stem test, well testing, training, development and general services.

"NIDC completed drilling operations at 40 onshore wells in the giant South Azadegan Oilfield in Khuzestan Province in the form of a turnkey contract," Sepehri said, adding that 20 more wells are being drilled at the same site.

NIDC is in charge of offshore and onshore drilling activities. It provides more than 90% of drilling services needed by oil companies inside the country. The company has 73 drilling rigs, of which 70 are onshore machinery. NIDC also signed an MoU with the Polish EXALO Drilling SA in March, based on which EXALO will provide NIDC with a range of services, including technical engineering support and supply drilling and extraction equipment. 

The company will meet its requirement from domestically-made goods. EXALO has planned to establish a strong presence in Arvand Free Trade Zone in southwest Iran, bordering Arvand River and southern Iraq, which can help NIDC expand its foothold in the southern Khuzestan Province. 


NIDC Lukoil Eni Iran Drilling Company Iraq Projects