Iran Completes Azadegan Oilfield Drilling Operations

Iran is pinning hopes on the investment and know-how of foreign oil companies to enhance extraction rates.
Iran is pinning hopes on the investment and know-how of foreign oil companies to enhance extraction rates.

The National Iranian Drilling Company has completed drilling operations at 40 onshore wells in the giant South Azadegan Oilfield in Khuzestan Province, the company's deputy director said.

"NIDC implemented the operation in the form of a turnkey contract," Mehran Makvandi was also quoted as saying by NIOC's news portal on Thursday.

According to Makvandi, the project was completed gradually and as soon as the wells were drilled, NIOC, as the employer, started to use them to boost the fields' output.

Crude production is currently about 80,000 barrels per day from South Azadegan. Plans are in place to double the volume by the end of the current fiscal year in March 2018.

Elaborating on the details of the plan, Makvandi said, "NIDC employed eight heavy-duty drilling rigs to expedite the operation. Three more wells were repaired simultaneously with the drilling operation. The initiative entailed drilling 155,000 meters of onshore wells."

The official noted that NIDC was committed to complying with the health, safety and environment standards while implementing the project as they have always been among top priorities.

Asked about NIDC's other operations, Makvandi said the company has already completed drillings in Phase 14 of South Pars Gas Field, Azadegan and South Yaran oilfields in Khuzestan as well as Azar field in Ilam Province.

It also drilled an exploratory well at a depth of 2,900 meters in Soufikom region in Aq-Qala County in Golestan Province, commissioned by Khazar Exploration and Production Company.

South Azadegan Oilfield is located 80 kilometers west of Ahvaz in Khuzestan Province along the Iran-Iraq border and shared by the two states.

  Int'l Tender

According to Touraj Dehqani, an official at the Petroleum Engineering and Development Company, South Azadegan field will be tendered by the end of summer under Tehran's new model of contracts, dubbed Iran Petroleum Contract.

Iran is pinning hopes on the investment and know-how of international oil companies to enhance South Azadegan field's extraction rate.

Royal Dutch Shell, French energy giant Total S.A. and Malaysia's state oil and gas company, Petronas, have been touted as potential candidates to develop the field.

The country is looking to boost production capacity from joint fields with Iraq by more than 10% by March next year.

"Our priority is to work with prominent international companies … but they will have to collaborate with domestic firms," he said, adding that the transfer of technology will be an integral part of the South Azadegan tender and any future oilfield development contract.

Dehqani estimated that South Azadegan will require $5 billion in investment.

"Under the terms of IPC, winner of the field's development rights will finance the project," he said.


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