Higher Forouzan Oilfield Production Prioritized

Higher Forouzan Oilfield  Production PrioritizedHigher Forouzan Oilfield  Production Prioritized

Plans have been devised to increase output from Forouzan Oilfield by 2.5 times through developing the largest oil rig in the Persian Gulf. 

“As soon as the offshore platform is completed, the current production rate, standing at 40,000 barrels per day, will rise to 100,000 bpd," Karim Hassanzadeh, the oilfield's project development manager, told Mehr News Agency.

The official noted that in addition to crude output, gas condensate production will also experience a twofold rise, jumping from 7 million cubic meters to 14 mcm. Plans call for transferring a part of the produced gas to Kharg liquefied natural gas plant through pipes and the rest will be injected into the field to enhance oil recovery.

"Developing two offshore rigs weighing 10,000 tons and providing accommodation for personnel are high on the agenda," said Hassanzadeh.

Asked about the unique features of Forouzan's platforms, Hassanzadeh said they are one of a kind in terms of design. 

Unlike all other Iranian oil and gas rigs that are supported by four columns, the giant 53 by 44, five-story rig will stand on six columns.

Pointing to the fact that two South Korean enterprises were tasked with building the platforms in 2012, the official said due to the procrastination of Koreans, all installations, equipment and structures were transferred from the yard in South Korea to Khorramshahr.

According to Hassanzadeh, domestic experts are capable of undertaking the semi-finished project in 26 months unless they face financial constraints.

"Based on projections made four years ago, the construction of the two rigs was estimated to cost $256 million, of which $90 million have already been injected into the project," he said, adding that precise financial assessments show the project can only be completed with an investment of $421 million.

“The construction project has made 30% progress and the contract with the Korean firms was annulled. Nonetheless, due to their state-of-the-art designing know-how, plans call for counting on foreign companies' help in this regard,” he said.

Referring to procurement of all equipment to complete the mega project, Hassanzadeh said serious negotiations are underway with the Iranian Offshore Engineering and Construction Company to allocate the required financial resources. 

As Forouzan is a joint field, it is likely that a part of credits will be provided by the National Development Fund of Iran.

Oil officials believe that ramping up extraction from joint oil and gas fields is a top priority of the Oil Ministry, as the objective is in line with laws ratified by the parliament, the policies of President Hassan Rouhani's administration and Resistance Economy, a set of economic principles proposed by the Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei to counter the sanctions, promote domestic growth and reduce consumption.

Iran has 145 hydrocarbon fields, of which 26 are shared with neighbors, including Kuwait, Iraq, Qatar, Bahrain, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Turkmenistan.

Iran's total in-place oil reserves have been estimated to be more than 560 billion barrels, with about 140 billion barrels of recoverable oil. 

A lack of modern technology and budget has hampered the development of joint fields, allowing neighbors to draw the lion's share of underground reserves. For instance, Iran is lagging behind Qatar in terms of extraction from the South Pars Gas Field in the Persian Gulf, with the tiny Arab country reportedly drawing 1.6 times faster from the joint field.

Located 100 km southwest of Kharg Island in the Persian Gulf, Forouzan is one of Iran's two joint oilfields with Saudi Arabia. It was discovered in 1996 with estimated in-place reserves of 2.3 billion barrels of crude.

Production from the field started in 1987 by 180,000 bpd, but declined to 40,000 bpd in 2000. The country aims to draw more than 300 barrels of oil from the field within a 25-year timeframe.