New Caspian Reserves to Be Explored

New Caspian Reserves to Be ExploredNew Caspian Reserves to Be Explored

Recent studies in Sardar-e-Jangal Oilfield indicate a high probability of exploring new oil layers, said managing director of Khazar Exploration and Production Company on Tuesday.

"In line with the policies of the National Iranian Oil Company, KEPCO intends to drill a new appraisal well in the newly-explored Sardar-e-Jangal Oilfield in Gilan Province," Ali Osouli was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.

"Plans have been made to continue oil and gas exploration activities in greater depth of Caspian Sea."

According to Osouli, the new appraisal well will be drilled to identify the hydrocarbon formations, assessing the characteristics (such as flow rate) of hydrocarbon accumulation and defining the limits of the oilfield.

"Such drilling provides KEPCO with much-need data based on which investment funds are calculated," he said.

"Based on the previous exploratory drilling, only one hydrocarbon layer was identified in the field. Further research shows there seems to be other oil layers if drilling deepens further to reach lower layers. The drilling operation of the second well in Sardar-e-Jangal Oilfield has already been completed."

In December 2011, Iran announced that it had discovered a substantial oil deposit, later named Sardar-e-Jangal Oilfield, which reportedly contains about 10 billion barrels of oil and 500 million cubic meters of recoverable natural gas. It is located 188 km north of Roudsar in Gilan Province and 250 km northwest of Neka.

In May 2012, another field, Sardar-e-Melli, was discovered at the same altitude.

Traditionally an oil-producing area, the Caspian area’s importance as a natural gas producer is fast growing. Offshore fields account for 41% of total Caspian crude oil and lease condensate (19.6 billion barrels) and 36% of natural gas (3 trillion cubic meters).

Most of the offshore oil reserves are in the northern parts of the sea, while most of the offshore natural gas reserves are in the southern regions.

Due to the abundance of gas resources in southern Iran, officials have been rather indifferent to exploration and expansion of oilfields in the northern regions. However, the administration of President Hassan Rouhani, after taking office in the summer of 2013, has shown special interest in natural energy resources in the Caspian region.

The region, which includes Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Iran, is one of the oldest oil-producing areas in the world and is an increasingly important source of global energy production.

The area has significant oil and natural gas reserves from both offshore deposits in the sea itself and onshore fields in the region.

A  geological formation is the fundamental unit of lithostratigraphy, consisting of rock strata that have a comparable lithology, facies or other similar properties. Formations are not defined on the thickness of rock strata, therefore the thickness of different formations can vary widely.

Appraisal wells are drilled to determine the physical extent, reserves and likely production rate of a field.

Exploratory drilling is the initial phase of drilling for the purpose of determining the physical properties and boundaries of a reservoir.