Oil, Gas Exploration Commences in Zagros Basin

Oil, Gas Exploration  Commences in Zagros BasinOil, Gas Exploration  Commences in Zagros Basin

Exploration activities have commenced to find oil and gas reserves in a geologically complex anticlinal trap, in the southern Fars Province.

The exploration well is located 10 kilometers north of Khesht City and 35 km west of Kazeroun City, Exploration Manager at the National Iranian Oil Company Hormoz Qalavand was quoted by IRNA as saying. The project is aimed at oil and gas discovery in the unexplored parts of Asmari, Bangestan and Khami hydrocarbon layers.

Following the issuance of a drilling permit by the Cabinet, funding was allocated and a drilling rig, owned by the National Iranian Drilling Company, was dispatched to the site. The well was drilled up to approximately 5,300 meters in depth, with drilling operations projected to conclude within a year.

There has been relatively little exploration and development work in the past decade, so Iran is optimistic about finding more oil using modern technology.

The Zagros fold-thrust belt, which extends for about 2,000 kilometers from southeastern Turkey through northern Syria and Iraq to western and southern Iran, has excellent structural traps for the accumulation of oil and gas and accounts for Iran’s major oil and gas fields.

 The giant fields of the Zagros belt fall within the greater context of the Arabian-Iraq-Persian basin and contain cumulative recoverable reserves estimated at 87 billion barrels of oil and 514 trillion cubic feet of gas.

The sediments comprising the Zagros Basin are up to 12,000 meters thick. Oil and gas have been trapped in and produced from various layers, but by far the most important is the Asmari limestone.

The Asmari Formation is the major oil reservoir in Iran mainly composed of carbonate entities (limestone and dolomite). The formation produces almost 85% of total Iranian crude oil and it is one of the major known reservoirs in the world.

Iran’s oil resources are attractive to foreign oil companies because its geology is reasonably well understood, the fields are conventional and they are located onshore, presenting less risk than frontier projects in the Arctic or ultra-deepwater.

 In terms of the quality of its oil and the geology of its reservoirs, Iran’s oil competes directly with Iraq (both are located in the Zagros Basin) and more indirectly with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE.

The country has the world’s fourth-largest proved reserves of crude oil (behind Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and Canada) and the largest proved reserves of natural gas (ahead of Qatar and Russia), according to BP.