$20b Investment Opportunity in Oil Projects

$20b Investment Opportunity in Oil Projects$20b Investment Opportunity in Oil Projects

The potential for investment in Iran's oil and gas projects in the Persian Gulf is projected to exceed $20 billion, Iranian Offshore Oil Company’s managing director said on Saturday.

"Serious negotiations are underway with Italy's oil giant Eni, France's Total and an Austrian company to implement oil projects in the region," Saeed Hafezi was also quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.

Highlighting the unique investment opportunities in oil and gas plans in the oil-rich region, he noted that Asian and European enterprises have shown interest in developing projects in the Strait of Hormuz between the Sea of Oman and the Persian Gulf.

The official further said that notwithstanding the ongoing talks, contracts are yet to be signed, as multinational giants are still not sure whether to invest in such projects or not. According to Hafezi, the oil price decline will naturally overshadow the giants' interest in investment, yet the market needs to be analyzed carefully to be able to maximize profits.

"Of the $20 billion investment opportunity in the region, a part is related to the development of new oil and gas fields whose pertinent negotiations are being followed by Pars Oil and Gas Company officials," he added.

Underscoring the fact that the other part of negotiations has something to do with the development of aging oilfields, he said, "What tops the Oil Ministry's list of priority in such fields is maximizing long-term sustainable extraction with the help of enhanced and improved oil recovery techniques."

Hafezi further said development of oilfields such as Soroush, Abouzar, Hengam, Doroud and other joint fields offers unique investment opportunities in Iran's oil and gas sector in the Persian Gulf.

  Alternatives to Boost Output

"Renovating old oil wells and injecting water into hydrocarbon reservoirs are among the most likely alternatives to raise oil output from joint fields in the Persian Gulf," he said.

Hafezi noted that plans have been made to recondition oil and gas wells using cleanout and repair methods so they can restart production.

According to the official, workover and repair of old wells, performing major maintenance or remedial treatments on an oil or gas well is an important part of the oil business.

In many cases, workover implies the removal and replacement of the production tubing string after the well has been killed.

"Renovating 48 wells and restarting oil extraction from them top operation in the first phase," he said, predicting that as soon as the wells are reconditioned, approximately 50,000 barrels per day will be added to Iran's production capacity in the Persian Gulf.

Underscoring the fact that Persian Gulf joint oilfields have experienced the highest increase in production, the official said at present, 100,000 bpd are extracted from the joint field with Saudi Arabia and UAE.

Hafezi said water is injected not only to support reservoir pressure, but also to sweep or displace oil from the reservoir and push it towards a well.

Iran has announced plans to raise crude production capacity to its pre-sanctions level and regain the market share it lost to rival producers such as Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

The Oil Ministry will issue bonds to boost investment in a joint oilfield with Iraq, as Iran presses ahead with plans to raise crude production capacity by 1 million barrels a day within six months. Italy's Eni had a long-term role in developing South Pars Gas Field phases and always implemented the most advanced technologies in its projects. It has recently developed a deepwater drilling technology that allows it to significantly reduce the exploration and extraction costs of offshore oil and gas wells.

According to Stephane Michel, the head of Middle East’s exploration and production division at Total, the French supermajor is ready to finance Iranian oil projects and transfer technology to Tehran.

“Total has vast experience in carrying out oil and gas projects in the Middle East, Africa, Brazil and Russia,” he said, referring to the company’s high international profile.

Similar to Eni officials, Michel pledged that Total will introduce cutting-edge drilling and extraction technologies to slash production costs at Iran’s oil and gas fields.