Oil and Gas News
Tehran denies occupying Romanian drilling platform in Gulf
Aug 23, 2006, 15:29 GMT
Tehran - Tehran denied Wednesday that Iranian troops have occupied a Romanian drilling platform in the Gulf.
The issue is a private, legal dispute between Iranian and Romanian companies and not government-related, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Assefi told Khabar news network.
Assefi said Iranian police had prevented materials belonging to the platform from being transferred as long as the ongoing legal dispute was not settled.
A spokesman for the platform's Romanian operator GSP Grup said Tuesday that Iranian troops had occupied the platform and contacts with more than 20 employees on the platform had been disrupted.
The background to the incident was an ongoing dispute dating from April over drilling rights with Iranian oil companies Petroiran and Oriental Oil Kish, Radu Petrescu said.
The platform has reportedly been rented by Oriental Oil Kish until 2009, but the Romanians are demanding a higher rent for the current year which Iran rejects.
Iran wants the platform to stay in its current location in the Gulf until all legal details have been clarified.
Iranian police intervened and foiled attempts by GSP 'to rob' the Orizon drilling rig in the Gulf, Mehr news agency reported Wednesday.
GSP began the dispute on August 13 by abducting two representatives of PetroIran Company on the Fortuna drilling rig, beating them up and expelling them from the Gulf waters, the report said.
At the request of Oriental Oil Kish, a court in the nearby Persian Gulf island of Kish ruled to confiscate the rig and ordered police to take action, Mehr reported.
The GSP is backed by the Alfajr Lel Aqarat Company in the United Arab Emirates, which is run by an influential sheikh and an Iranian- born manager, the report added.
The company had tried to make a 600-million-dollar profit by stealing the oil platform, Mehr alleged.© 2006 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur