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Iran to import 10 drilling rigs worth $850m from China


Iran will buy 10 drillings rigs from China at a cost of $850 million, the Mehr News Agency reported.

Despite following policies for reducing reliance on foreign technologies and attaining self-sufficiency in the oil sector, the North Drilling Company of Iran has scrapped a deal with domestic manufacturers and has signed a contract with Chinese manufacturers to build 14 onshore and offshore drilling rigs. 

The deal with domestic manufacturers was signed in last July. But the deal has not been enforced yet. 

The NDC managing director Hedayatollah Khademi said that Chinese financiers will secure 80 percent of the required fund for manufacturing the rigs. The rigs are projected to be delivered by the next two years, he added.

This is while Iran's Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi has warned all the contractors to avoid importing equipment that is currently being produced domestically. 

All the contractors who ignore the warning will be omitted from the list of oil ministry's contractors, the Mehr News Agency quoted Qasemi as saying. Even if the prices of Iranian-made equipment are slightly higher, the contractors should purchase the Iranian goods, he underscored.

Iranian-made equipment accounted for 5 billion dollars of the mentioned amount, while foreign goods especially Chinese equipment accounted for the rest. Iran sits on the world's second largest natural gas reserves after Russia and is trying to grow its gas production by increasing foreign and domestic investments, especially in its South Pars gas field. 

Iran's total in-place oil reserves have been estimated to be more than 560 billion barrels, with about 157 billion barrels of recoverable oil.