Abu Dhabi: Romania's Grup Servicii Petroliere yesterday said its offshore drilling rig in Iran came under military attack and all communication lines with its crew have been cut.
GSP president Gabriel Comanescu has accused Iran of violating all international norms and said Romania would leave no stone unturned to recover the rig.
"The rig, Orizont, is now under the control of Iran's military troops that arrived in a military ship and opened fire. The radio operation room is controlled by the military troops," he told Gulf News.
Comanescu said GSP has lodged an official complaint at the Romanian Embassy in Iran against the use of military force.
The Orizont has been moored near Kish island since October 2005.
"We are unaware of any injuries or deaths because we have lost contact with our crew," he said. "The Romanian President's office is now involved and is talking to Iran's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and we are doing our best to ensure the safety of our rig and the workers held hostage."
Some 25 Romanian and 10 Indian workers are on board the 13,000-tonne Orizont rig. "We have informed the Oil Ministry, the Foreign Ministry, Foreign Relations Committee, and Energy Committee of Iranian Parliament that failure to intervene will lead to serious dent on the reputation of Iran," Comanescu added.
The Charge d'Affairs at the Iranian Embassy in Abu Dhabi said they were aware of the Romanian rig controversy and are awaiting information. "This problem is not related to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs but we have asked the ministry for information on this."
GSP had two rigs operating near the Iranian coast. It was in Iranian courts earlier this year over a contract dispute involving another oil rig, Fortuna.
Last week, GSP moved the Fortuna to Sharjah, saying it was perfectly within its rights to do so. The company refuted Petro Iran Development Company's (Pedco) charges that GSP hijacked the rig. Pedco immediately urged the UAE to help return the offshore drilling rig and prevent it from entering the UAE. Fortuna is currently jacked up about three kilometres offshore Sharjah before it moves to the repair yard of Lamprell Sharjah. "There is no movement on the rig yet," a Lamprell spokesman said.
Pedco officials did not return calls nor answered e-mails sent last week. Yesterday was a holiday in Iran.
GSP's lawyers, Clyde & Co, are preparing the documents before filing a case against Pedco in the International Court of Justice while a legal team is also working in Iran.