Iranian Firms in Race for Southern Oilfields

Domestic Firms in Race for Southern OilfieldsDomestic Firms in Race for Southern Oilfields

Local oil and gas producers look to acquire the rights to develop two oilfields in the southern Khuzestan Province, despite facing competition from foreign energy rivals.

Pasargad Energy Development Company (PEDC) has presented its development plan for Shadegan Oilfield and Oil Industries Engineering and Construction Group (OIEC) submitted its proposal for the nearby Sepehr Oilfield, Oil Ministry’s Shana news service reported on Wednesday.

Production from Shadegan Oilfield, located about 60 kilometers southwest of Ahvaz, is at a rate of 60,000 barrels per day, with plans in place to boost output after three decades of operations.

PEDC is a subsidiary of Pasargad Financial Group, one of the largest Iranian financial and banking services companies. The company has diversified its energy assets since it was founded in 2008, having owned a combined-cycle power plant and acquired stakes in two other power stations.

Shadegan has attracted interest from Russia’s Zarubezhneft and Tatneft who are expected to hand in their development plans by the end of this month, as well as energy giant Schlumberger, Persgas consortium and Iran’s Tenco, a subsidiary of Iran’s Khatam-al-Anbiya Construction Group.

Local companies have also heated up the race for Sepehr Oilfield, a deposit in the West Karoun oil block, with Ghadir Investment Company, engineering conglomerate MAPNA Group and privately-run Dana Energy having signed agreements to study the reservoir alongside state-owned OIEC.

According to estimates, Iran needs to spend $500-600 million to tap into the field’s 300 million barrels of proven reserves.

OIEC is seeking other energy projects in the oil-rich region. The company hopes to partner with Russia’s Gazprom Neft to develop two oilfields at the southwestern border with Iraq.

The oilfields are likely to be developed under a buyback model that has been used in most Iranian energy projects in the past two decades.

Tehran has crafted a new contractual framework, known as Iran Petroleum Contract, to develop large-scale upstream projects while buyback deals will be signed for smaller oil and gas deposits.

Iran resumed negotiations with international companies to develop its energy industry after economic curbs imposed over its nuclear activities were lifted in January 2016.

In late 2015, some 50 Iranian oil and gas projects were introduced to foreign companies, with oil officials placing the country’s investment needs in the petroleum industry at around $200 billion.

The Oil Ministry has given priority to developing shared oil and gas fields, including with Iraq, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman.


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