Iran to launch oil, gas exploration in Caspian Sea

21:11, December 07, 2009      

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Iran is to start exploration drillings in the Caspian Sea for oil and gas by the end of the current Iranian year (March 21, 2010), the local satellite Press TV reported on Monday.

With the inauguration and operation of Iran-Alborz semi-floating rig, the country can reach a high level of technical knowledge and oil industry technology in deep waters, Press TV quoted an Iranian official at Khazar Exploration and Production Co. (KEPCO) as saying.

"There is a bright prospect of finding reserves of crude oil in the region... in the Caspian Sea," Mahmoud Zirakchianzadeh, a member of KEPCO's board of directors, said on Monday.

Earlier in July, Iran announced that the country would launch exploration of oil and gas using its domestically-built semi-floating drilling rig in the Caspian Sea.

Iran-Alborz weighs 14,000 tons and is the largest in the Middle East, Iran's Oil Minister Gholam Hossein Nozari said in July.

The Caspian Sea, with a surface area of 371,000 square km and a volume of 78,200 cubic km, is in central Asia bordered by Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan.

Among the five nations, only Iran is a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

The Caspian Sea region historically has produced oil and natural gas, but the region is believed to have much oil and gas capable of greater production.

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