Azadegan Starting Trial Production

Azadegan Starting Trial ProductionAzadegan Starting Trial Production

Azadegan's northern oilfield is set to start its trial production, as its first phase of development comes on line.

The field will produce 75,000 barrels of oil every day during its first phase of development, Keramat Behbahani, Northern Azadegan's development director, told Shana Tuesday.

The northern field's installations reached 95% readiness before September. China National Petroleum Corporation was contracted to develop the first phase.

"We are getting everything operational now to start the trial run, which will last from 21 to 28 days."

During trial production, the field has to uneventfully produce for 21 days in a row. If everything goes according to plan, full production will start.

Northern Azadegan is part of Azadegan Oilfield located 80 km west of Ahvaz, in southwestern Iran, near the Iraqi border.

The field is one of NIOC's recent finds, the biggest oilfield found in Iran in the last 30 years, and is shared with Iraq. Thus, the Oil Ministry has put extraction from the field as one of its top production priorities. Iraq has not produced any oil from the field.

Iranian authorities claim Azadegan to have 33.2 billion barrels of oil-in-place, 5.2 billion barrels of which are recoverable. It is one of NIOC's recent discoveries.

Sarvak, Kazhdomi, Godvan and Fahilan are productive layers of the field. Crude oil produced by the Fahilan layer is light while the other layers yield heavy crude.

Azadegan and Yadavarn, another large shared reservoir, hold reserves exceeding 50 billion barrels of crude—nearly one-third of Iran's total reserves and more than Libya's total oil reserves.

The National Iranian Oil Company plans to sink a further $20 billion into the development of the two fields to reach a 260,000-bpd production rate within a year's time.

The Oil Ministry plans to boost the two fields' production capacity to 700,000 bpd in what could be the "most rapid production [increase] in the Iranian oil industry's history", according to Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh.