Iran calls on UAE to help return “hijacked drilling rig”

TEHERAN - The state-owned Petroiran oil company on Tuesday urged the United Arab Emirates to help return an offshore drilling rig it says was “hijacked from Iranian waters”, the energy news agency Shana said.

By (AFP)

Published: Tue 15 Aug 2006, 7:48 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 2:13 PM

“We call on the UAE officials to prevent the “Fortuna’ from entering the UAE in order to respect recognized international commercial ties and to prepare the ground for returning the oil rig to Iran,” Petroiran managing director Mostafa Khoee said.

“Petroiran will pursue the matter by taking legal measures,” he added.

Khoee said the Fortuna, owned by Romania’s Grup Servicii Petroliere, had been rented by Iran’s Oriental Oil Kish for two years.

But the two companies are involved in a legal dispute for return of the rig, which Iran claims is still under rental contract.

“A vessel on its way to Al-Fujayrah (UAE) illegally entered waters of Iran’s Hangam gas field and towed the oil rig out of Iranian waters,” Khoee said.

Hangam field is in the Strait of Hormoz, 20 kilometers south of Qeshm island in the Gulf. The field, shared jointly with Oman, is the subject of studies to draw up a master plan for its development.

Exploitation of the Hangam gas field has been delayed because the necessary drilling equipment to sink appraisal wells was not procured on time.

Just four foreign-owned rigs are currently active in Iranian oil projects.

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