Abbot Wins 5 Well Drilling Contract in Iran

Abbot Group's 49% owned associate company KCA Iran Kish Drilling Company PJSC (KCA Iran) has been awarded a contract by Norsk Hydro's subsidiary Hydro Zagros Oil and Gas a.s. for a new drilling program in Iran.

The contract, which is valued in excess of $25 million, is for an initial 5 well drilling program of about 30 months duration and will involve the major upgrading of one of National Iranian Drilling Company's ('NIDC') 2000 HP land drilling units.

KCA Iran will be working closely with NIDC during the rig upgrade phase to enhance the rig's drilling capabilities. This will include the installation of additional generating capacity, increasing the pressure rating of existing blow out preventer and pressure control equipment from 5,000psi to 10,000psi, supplying new camp accommodation and additional drilling tubulars and the overhaul of critical equipment systems. NIDC has already recently completed a partial upgrade of Rig 48-FATH including the installation of a top drive unit and mud system upgrades.

The contract is in support of an exploration program on the Anaran Block in Western Iran, one of a number of exploration blocks recently awarded to western oil companies. It includes options for additional wells which could provide an additional 2 years work.

Alasdair Locke, Executive Chairman of Abbot, said, 'This is a significant contract which increases substantially our group portfolio of work in Iran so that by the year end we could be operating up to four land rigs and two offshore jack-up units. Our relationships with NIDC and other Iranian entities continue to place us in a very strong position to capitalize on the enormous potential that exists in Iran.'