160,000 bpd Rise in West Karun Output

160,000 bpd Rise in West Karun Output160,000 bpd Rise in West Karun Output

Iran has increased oil output capacity by 160,000 barrels per day from West Karun, its joint field with Iraq, managing director of Petroleum Engineering and Development Company said on Saturday.

"Currently, two West Karun oilfields, namely North Azadegan and Yadavaran, are in production phase and ready to be officially inaugurated in less than two months," Abdolreza Haji-Hossein-Nejad was quoted as saying by Shana.

West Karun, located in southwest Iran, includes Yaran and Mansouri fields as well as Yadavaran, North and South Azadegan joint fields with Iraq.

Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh recently said development projects in shared oil and gas fields top the National Iranian Oil Company's list of priorities.

Announcing the oil production capacity of North Azadegan and Yadavaran to be 75,000 and 85,000 barrels per day respectively, Haji-Hossein-Nejad added that with the fields' added output, West Karun's total production reached 215,000 bpd.

"The two projects have been implemented by PEDEC when international sanctions against Iran were still in place and Chinese investors cooperated in the projects under a buyback contract," he said.

The official noted that about $2.9 billion in investment were spent on Yadavaran Oilfield, adding that the field's in-place oil reserve is estimated to be 31 billion barrels, of which 50 million barrels have until now been exploited.

Haji-Hossein-Nejad said Yadavaran's crude mostly comprises 70,000 bpd of light oil and some 15,000 barrels of heavy oil.

"An additional $2.55 billion were invested in North Azadegan Oilfield, which is projected to have $5.7 billion of in-place oil," PEDEC's chief executive said, adding that the project was completed in 72 months and the reservoir will be exploited in five years.

*** South Azadegan and South Yaran oilfields

Hoping that North Azadegan Oilfield, with a daily production capacity of 30,000 barrels, will be completed in September, the official said South Azadegan is also expected to be fully exploited by March 2017 and produce 60,000 barrels a day.

 "Thus, West Karun's overall output will reach 300,000 bpd at the time."

He referred to the company's commitment to raise the total output to 550,000 bpd by March 2018 and said a 700,000 bpd production is only possible if the second phases of North Azadegan and Yadavaran go on stream.

"Under a $2.1 billion contract, South Azadegan's project has made 20% progress," he said, noting that by employing 18 rigs, about 200,000 meters have until now been drilled in the field.

Haji-Hossein-Nejad also said that at present 5,000 barrels are extracted daily from South Yaran Oilfield, which is to witness a rise of another 5,000 bpd in the next two months.

"The field's ultimate output is expected to reach 30,000 barrels a day in the spring or summer," he said, explaining that drilling is almost done and the company is currently engaged in installing the wells' valves.

Likewise, Azar project in Anaran block will be producing 30,000 bpd upon its completion by March 2017, the official pledged.

***Foreign Contractors

PEDEC's managing director also elaborated on the proposal of Russia regarding the development of Azar and Changuleh oilfields.

"As Azar's contract is in buyback form, Russian cooperation in the field is out of question but they can hold talks with NIOC, if they intend to undertake the Changuleh development project," he said.

Asked about Japan's professed interest in cooperating in North Azadegan development, Haji-Hossein-Nejad noted that Iran is ready to start cooperation with any interested company, while the Japanese company's proposal encompasses different oilfields, including North Azadegan.

"Yet no written agreement has been reached with the Japanese party," he said.

The PEDEC chief further said the Chinese contractor's circumstances for the second phase of Yadavaran are "not usual" and Iran does not advocate their proposal.

"Chinese companies should negotiate based on international accepted norms and prices, and if talks with them go nowhere, the projects will be introduced to other foreign contractors in the form of new Iran Petroleum Contracts," he said.

Haji-Hossein-Nejad noted that as China has been Iran's strategic partner during the hard times created by the US-engineered sanctions, they are prioritized over others and hopefully talks will lead to results.