Iran Plans to Raise Oil Output From West Karoun Block

Iran Plans to Raise Oil Output From West Karoun BlockIran Plans to Raise Oil Output From West Karoun Block

Iran is looking to raise production capacity from joint fields with Iraq by more than 10% in the first quarter of the next fiscal year that begins in March, a senior oil official said.

The country shares several oilfields with its western Arab neighbor in an oil block known as West Karoun in southern Khuzestan Province. It aims to boost the nominal output capacity from the oil block by 40,000 barrels a day from the present 320,000 bpd, according to Noureddine Shahnazizadeh, managing director of Petroleum Engineering and Development Company (PEDEC).

"By producing 15,000 bpd from Azar Oilfield and raising production from South Azadegan field by 25,000 bpd, we can ratchet up output from West Karoun fields to 360,000 barrels a day," Shahnazizadeh said, ILNA reported on Wednesday.

Government data show that actual output from the oil-rich region is below 300,000 barrels per day, including 115,000 bpd from Yadavaran field, 75,000 bpd from North Azadegan and 30,000 bpd from North Yaran.

West Karoun, Iran's top priority for raising crude production to restore market share it lost to the international sanctions, includes Mansouri, Yaran, Yadavaran as well as North and South Azadegan joint fields. The block holds an estimated 67 billion barrels of oil in place.

Shahnazizadeh said output from the South Azadegan field is just above 50,000 barrels per day and is slated to reach 85,000 bpd this month and rise to 110,000 bpd in the second quarter of 2017.

"A total of 185 wells are planned to be drilled in South Azadegan," the PEDEC chief said, adding that nearly 50% of drilling operations at the field have been completed.

North Yaran's daily output can climb by an additional 5,000 barrels to reach 35,000 bpd, Shahnazizadeh said. The field is being developed by domestic contractor Persia Oil And Gas Industry Development Company.

Production from the field's southern section is expected to begin by May at a rate of 10,000 bpd and gradually rise to 25,000 barrels per day.

According to Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, the oil minister, oilfields in the West Karoun region as well as South Pars, the giant gas field shared between Iran and Qatar in the Persian Gulf, are at the top of the ministry's priority for development.

Officials say raising the rate of recovery from West Karoun by 1% would increase recoverable reserves by 670 million barrels, or some $33 billion in revenues with oil at $50 a barrel.

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