TEHRAN, Jan. 20 (Mehr News Agency) -- Iran's North Drilling Company (NDC) and COSL of China have signed a cooperation agreement for strategic oil exploration management, repair and maintenance of semi-submersible Alborz Rig in Block 6 of the Caspian Sea, the Persian service of ISNA reported on Friday.
In the ceremony held for signing the contract, the executive director of NDC, Heidar Bahmani, stated that oil exploration and exploitation in the sea has always been the nation's long standing goal. The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), by allocating 500 million rials for projected plans, has provided the groundwork for this task.
He also said that the Chinese company had been granted the bid due to its technical capabilities and more reasonable offer in comparison with its European rivals. The cost of the contract is estimated at $33 million for three years and it includes drilling two exploration wells over 5,500 meters at the depth of 700.
Also during the ceremony, the Chinese ambassador to Tehran described COSL as one of the first three giant Chinese oil companies and added, "China has experienced an eye-catching growth compared with the past in such a way that its trade volume (imports and exports) approximated $1400 billion last year."
Lio Tang termed China as the fifth largest oil producer of the world and added that his country produced 170 million tons of oil in 2005.
Referring to China's economic growth, he mentioned, "Owing to its economic growth, China is in need of energy, including oil, and that's why it has purchased $5 billion in oil just from Iran during 2005."
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