The National Iranian Oil Company’s (NIOC) Deputy Director for Exploration Affairs, Bahman Soleimani, expounded on new oil and gas discovery projects in the Sea of Oman saying “NIOC seeks to carry out exploration activities in Oman Sea region in the future,” Mehr News reported.

Soleimani added that plans are underway to extend oil and gas development until 2021 for the search of hydrocarbon deposits in the region. NIOC’s exploration department is working in tandem with the Research Institute of Petroleum Industry to expand studies in the undeveloped Sea of Oman. Studies include geological surveys close to Iran’s Makran Coast stretching along the Sea of Oman, according to Financial Tribune.

Soleimani went on to stress that a relevant research project in has yielded proper results, adding: “Geology and geochemistry studies on the northern coast of Oman Sea in the Makran area is being seriously pursued by Exploration department of NIOC as well as that Phase II of research studies are being defined and are on the verge if implementation.” The official, while noting that exact amount of oil and gas resources in the Sea of Oman is still unknown, reiterated that primary studies are promising of satisfactory estimations.

Oman Sea is at most 150 meters deep and the exploratory drilling will be executed at the sea bottom, with the depth of the sea in areas under exploration varying between 70 to 150 meters.