NDFI to Expedite Azar Oilfield Development

NDFI to Expedite Azar Oilfield DevelopmentNDFI to Expedite Azar Oilfield Development

Azar Oilfield's development plan will be accelerated, as obstacles to receiving the resources of the National Development Fund of Iran have been removed, director of the field's development plan said on Monday.

"NDFI is to extend more of its financial facilities to Azar Oilfield's development plan, which was in line to receive finance for such a long time," Keyvan Yarahmadi was quoted as saying by Shana.

Pointing to the long delay in completing the project due to financial constraints, Yarahmadi added that the new funding plan is expected to help the contractor accelerate the development of the project.

Underscoring the early production plan for 2016, the official said, "Plans have been made to drill 10 wells, out of which seven are production wells, one is appraisal and the rest are to dump wastewater."

Pointing to deployment of more oil rigs to the region to make up for the lost time, he said, "Five wells were drilled and five more are being drilled using the latest technology to expedite the process."

According to Yarahmadi, the field's pipe-laying progress is satisfactory and if the much-needed equipment and skilled workforce are provided as planned, the early production scheme will not be a farfetched dream.

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 once fully developed.

It is one of the six joint fields with Iraq, along with Dehloran, West Paydar, Naft-Shahr, Azadegan and Yadavaran.

"The depth of the oil reservoir and the necessity to drill in different formations have complicated drilling operations," he said.

Russian oil giant Gazprom had signed a memorandum of understanding with Petroleum Engineering and Development Company 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.

Azar will add 65,000 bpd to Iran's oil production capacity once fully developed. The project will cost more than $1billion, according to oil officials.

  Drilling Operations

A total of 19 wells are planned to be drilled at Azar, five of which have been completed. The field is part of the West Karun fields, many of which are shared with neighboring Iraq. The fields are projected to produce 1 million bpd in 2018.

Iran has 145 hydrocarbon fields, 23 of which are shared with neighbors, including Kuwait, Iraq, Qatar, Bahrain, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Turkmenistan.

Dehloran, West Payedar, Naft-Shahr, Azadegan, Yadavaran and Azar are fields shared by Iran and Iraq.

According to a Majlis Research Center report in 2013, Iran produced around 130,000 barrels of oil from joint fields with Iraq, while the western Arab neighbor produced 295,000 barrels.

The country's total in-place oil reserves have been estimated at more than 560 billion barrels, with about 140 billion barrels of recoverable oil. Last month, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said the National Iranian Oil Company requires $50 billion in funds to develop shared oil and gas fields and keep up with rival states.

Iran has 26 joint oil and gas fields with its neighboring countries, but a lack of modern technology and budget has hampered development of fields, allowing neighbors to draw the lion's share of underground reserves.