Iran Oil Platform Sinks; Watch $40 Million Rig Collapse As Workers Flee [VIDEO]

By iScienceTimes Staff on February 4, 2013 9:19 AM EST

Iran Oil Platform Sinks
A $40 million oil platform sank into the Persian Gulf last week, and the accident was caught on video. (Photo: YouTube)

Last week, one of Iran's oil platforms sank caused panicked workers to flee the doomed structure and jump into the Persian Gulf. The $40 million, 1,300-metric ton Iranian oil platform sank without warning, and the cause of the accident has proved elusive, according to Maritime Industrial Co. (SADRA) managing director Mehdi Etesami.

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"An investigation is under way," he told the ISNA news agency.

Because of its links to Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps, SADRA is subject to sanctions imposed by the European Union and the United States over Tehran's controversial nuclear program. Regardless, the government is seeking foreign aid to recover the equipment, a rare move that highlights the economic damage caused by Iran's oil platform sinking. Iran's oil platform sank in a resource-rich area of the Persian Gulf known as the South Pars Field. Iran considers the area a strategic priority, although it shares the South Pars Field with Qatar, and wanted to double production in the region by this summer. However, since Iran's oil platform sunk the project is expected to be delayed by 13 months.

The following is footage of Iran's oil platform sinking. In it, workers can be seen scrambling for safety as the oil platform dips into the Persian Gulf, where, fortunately, water temperatures are a mild 70 F.

Iran is using the oil platform to develop natural gas resources in the South Pars Field, which already produces 280 million cubic meters of natural gas every day. The development comes without the money and expertise of Western energy titans like Total SA and Royal Dutch Shell PLC, companies forced to withdraw from the project after crippling sanctions were imposed on Tehran over its nuclear weapons program. Iran has the second-largest natural gas reserves in the world, but since Iran's oil platform sunk their efficacy for developing domestic resources will likely be called into question.

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