Joint Oilfield Production Assessment Positive

Joint Oilfield Production Assessment PositiveJoint Oilfield Production Assessment Positive

Production assessments conducted by the Petroleum Engineering and Development Company (PEDEC), also known as Matn, on the first well of the jointly-owned Azar oilfield had positive results, director of the field's development plan, Keyvan Yarahmadi, said, IRNA reported.

Azar field, located in Anaran block near the border with Iraq in the town of Mehran in Ilam province, holds 2.5 billion barrels of oil in place and is expected to produce up to 65,000 barrels per day (bpd) once fully developed.

It is one of the six joint fields with Iraq along with Dehloran, West Paydar, Naft Shahr, Azadegan and Yadavaran. Depth of the oil reservoir and the necessity to drill in different formations are among the characteristics of the field, which have complicated drilling operations, the official said.

Russian oil giant Gazprom had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with PEDEC for the development of the field in 2009. However, Iran dropped the company from the project in August 2011, saying the development process was taking too long, and that a consortium of Iranian companies will replace Gazprom in the project

Iranian companies were expected to start operations by the end of 2014. However, work tion was delayed due to budget difficulties and complications in drilling operations.

Extraction of 30,000 to 35,000 bpd from the field will begin in 2015, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said last October, noting that the project is being implemented by Iranian companies based on a buyback deal worth $1 billion.

Lukoil, another major Russian energy company, announced its interest in Azar field, and a meeting was held last December to discuss the issue.

“Russian companies had in the past obtained information on Azar joint oilfields from the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) in anticipation of resuming negotiations,” Abdolreza Haji Hossein-Nejad, managing director of PEDEC said.