The new contract replaces a previous drilling deal agreed with Dana covering phases 15 and 16 of South Pars.

The UK/Dutch Shell Group and Spain’s Repsol pulled out of phase 13 earlier in 2008 due to concerns over the political and financial situation in the country but are looking to develop another gas project in the country (MEED 18:4:08).

It is now thought that POGC, the subsidiary of National Iranian Oil Company responsible for developing South Pars, will operate the next phase of the project with Dana, with an international partner unlikely to join the venture.

Dana Drilling is a subsidiary of the privately run Dana Energy.