The contract marks the first phase of development in the field which is estimated to have 48 trillion cubic feet of gas (MEED 19:3:08).

The first 13 wells will be drilled onshore with a second phase of 15 test wells expected to be done offshore at a later date.

The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), the parent company of NIDC, has previously forecast production of 3.5 billion cubic feet a day from the field, with about 75 per cent of all gas reserves thought to be recoverable.

India’s ONGC Videsh and Tehran’s state-run Petropars held talks earlier this year with NIOC over development of the field.