In the list of qualified Iranian E&P companies, IOEC is the only company with offshore concentration and expertise.

Abolghasem RAHMANI Managing Director IRANIAN OFFSHORE ENGINEERING AND CONSTRUCTION COMPANY

Expertise offshore Iran

March 13, 2018

Abolghasem Rahmani, managing director of the Iranian Offshore Engineering and Construction Company (IOEC), talks to TOGY about key ongoing projects such as the Iran-Oman gas pipeline and South Pars phase 11, as well as the company’s approach to EOR. IOEC is among Iran’s largest general contractors, fabricating and installing production facilities for oil and gas projects.

On the Iran-Oman gas pipeline: “Because of the lack of finance, political problems in the Persian Gulf and the low gas price, this project is not economical and has been on hold for some time. Therefore, its current status is unclear.”

On IOEC’s approach to EOR: “IOEC is taking two different paths to tackle this issue. One is through IOEC itself and our subsidiaries, which are conducting studies to acquire the technology needed for the implementation of different EOR and IOR methods. Another path is by forming JVs with foreign companies that already have the technology.”

Most TOGY interviews are published exclusively on our business intelligence platform TOGYiN, but you can find the full interview with Abolghasem Rahmani below.

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What were the company’s key operations over the past year?
As the most important highlight, IOEC has recently been selected by NIOC as one of the domestic companies to be involved in future oil and gas development projects due to our human assets and know-how, together with our facilities, vessels, machinery and the overall effectiveness of our equipment. In the list of qualified Iranian E&P companies, IOEC is the only company with offshore concentration and expertise.
We have completed the construction, transportation and installation of platforms A, B and C in South Pars phase 19, as well as two offshore platforms in phases 17 and 18. With regards to projects, the company has achieved good results over the past year and increased our gas output capacity to about 100 mcm [3.53 bcf] per day. It should be noted that no Iranian companies except NIOC and its delegates (such as POGC, PEDEC and NISOC) can have their own production or field ownership. We are doing the production in the South Pars phases on behalf of Pars Oil and Gas Company [POGC].
On top of that, pipe-laying projects have kept us busy during the past year as well, as we have completed projects in South Pars phases 13 and 22-24, and the ongoing sealine pipe-laying project in phase 14.
In phase 14, IOEC prides itself on having entered a new field of activity, drilling operations, with efficiency and excellent results. We have signed a contract with POGC to drill and complete 22 wells on the SPD14B and SPD 14D platforms (11 wells on each platform) in this phase. We were conducting drilling operations with two offshore rigs and drilling more than 80 kilometres and running more than 100 kilometres of conductor pipes, casing and liner.
Moreover, we have successfully carried out studies for the Iran-Oman gas pipeline and have submitted them to the client. The clients for this project are NIGEC [National Iranian Gas Export Company] and Oman’s Ministry of Oil and Gas, with equal shares.

Could you tell us about the possible specifications of the Iran-Oman gas pipeline?
Some parts of this pipeline are in deep waters of about 1,000 metres, which requires special facilities and technology that are not yet available in Iran. As a result, the company may enter into a joint venture or partnership with international contractors, but [negotiations for] these have not yet been held. Because of the lack of finance, political problems in the Persian Gulf and the low gas price, this project is not economical and has been on hold for some time. Therefore, its current status is unclear.

 

In regards to the development of South Pars phase 14, the contract was awarded to a consortium formed by IOEC, NIDC, IDRO and ISOICO. What has been IOEC’s role in the project?
IOEC is carrying out 20% of phase 14’s workload. This basically represents two important aspects. One is the drilling of 22 wells, which we have been doing in the best possible way, and the other is the installation of 160 kilometres of subsea pipelines. The laying part has been completed and we are now in process of carrying out the subsea post-lay activities.

Have you encountered any problems related to offshore risks working in South Pars?
All of these projects were carried out with the best HSE standards, so we did not have a major incident during them. Working in the sea and carrying out mega-projects poses many risks and dangers, but because the company has observed standards, there was no significant incident during the completion of these projects. This was a great success which is not achieved easily.

How do you expect to be involved in the South Pars phase 11 project?
IOEC has been qualified by Total and we submitted financial proposals in the fields of jackets, platform construction, pipe-laying and installation. IOEC is a market leader in the field of offshore projects, with vast experience in the Persian Gulf. We have two heavy-lift crane vessels that can lift up to 4,500 tonnes. Our heavy-lift vessel is capable of both lifting the platforms and pipe-laying.
Beyond that, we are also equipped with four accommodation vessels, each of which can accommodate 180-350 people during the installation and commissioning of projects. IOEC also has yards in Khorramshahr port that have the capacity to lift up to 80,000 tonnes of metal parts and fabricate 12 modules simultaneously. In overall terms, IOEC can provide a broad range of services to South Pars phase 11. We hope that phase 11 commences in the first quarter of 2018.

What is IOEC’s approach to the EOR technologies that are crucial for developing Iran’s brownfields?
IOEC is taking two different paths to tackle this issue. One is through IOEC itself and our subsidiaries, which are conducting studies to acquire the technology needed for the implementation of different EOR and IOR methods. Another path is by forming JVs with foreign companies that already have the technology. For the time being, we are in negotiations with some IOCs and well-known international contractors to find different ways of co-operation.

Have you resumed contact or projects with international companies since the sanctions were lifted?
The sanctions are still somewhat in effect, so the IOCs are very much influenced by that and are not very willing to co-operate with Iranian companies. IOEC, though, has negotiated with some major companies and has signed some MoUs. Some of these companies want to hire IOEC’s vessels for five or six months in order to participate in tenders for projects such as jacket installations and we have also signed partnerships with some European and Asian companies to participate in Iranian IPC projects.
Prior to the sanctions, some international companies would actually step forward and directly invite IOEC to participate in their tenders. IOEC has always had very good records in its projects and these records were very well known abroad. Before the sanctions, IOEC carried out projects in the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea and even at some brownfields in India.

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