Iran Outstrips Iraq's West Karoun Oil Output

Plans are in place to raise the block’s production to as many as 380,000 bpd by March 2018
West Karoun includes several large oilfields straddling the Iran-Iraq border.West Karoun includes several large oilfields straddling the Iran-Iraq border.
PEDEC has invited 14 international oil companies to participate in Azadegan Oilfield tenders

Iran has outpaced Iraq's crude extraction rate from the shared West Karoun block in the southern Khuzestan Province, the chief executive officer of Iran's Petroleum Engineering and Development Company (PEDEC) said.

"Iraq is extracting 320,000 barrels per day from West Karoun oilfields, whereas Iran's output has exceeded 350,000 bpd," Noureddine Shahnazi-Zadeh also told energy market data provider the Oil and Gas Year, Shana reported on Monday.


West Karoun includes several large oilfields straddling the Iran-Iraq border, namely Azadegan, Yaran, Yadavaran and Darkhoein, with the first three divided into north and south projects. The block holds an estimated 67 billion barrels of oil in place.

According to the official, Iran lagged behind its Arab neighbor in early 2016, yet according to the Oil Ministry's recently published data, OPEC's number 3 producer has left OPEC'S number 2 producer behind in West Karoun.


Giving a breakdown on the countries' production rate from the fields, Shahnazi-Zadeh noted that Iran is pumping 110,000 bpd from Yadavaran Oilfield. Moreover, its extraction from Azadegan and Yaran oilfields stands at 210,000 bpd and 30,000 bpd respectively.


Pointing to the country's crude production at 3.9 million bpd, Shahnazi-Zadeh said plans are in place to raise the block's production to as many as 380,000 bpd by March 2018.

"PEDEC's main objectives are to increase the fields’ recovery coefficient and use enhanced oil recovery (EOR) and improved oil recovery (IOR) technologies," he said.

The official noted that Iran had been using conventional technologies in these fields and the West Karoun oil shifted from light to extra heavy, with an API of between 19 and 22, hence production was reduced and investments must be made.

The American Petroleum Institute gravity, aka API, is a measure of how heavy or light a petroleum liquid is compared to water.​

 Azadegan Tender

Asked about Azadegan Oilfield, he noted that PEDEC has invited 14 international oil companies to participate in tenders for the oilfield's development.

The winner would form a consortium with a domestic exploration and production company as a joint venture partner.

"Negotiations are ongoing and we are in the final stages of preparing the appendixes related to this tender. We hope that by next April the consortium will be established."

Shahnazi-Zadeh said Yaran Oilfield is divided between north and south sections, which are planned to be unified into a single field.

The field currently produces 20,000 bpd, yet based on EOR and IOR technologies the objective is to reach 45,000 bpd in 2018. 

Commenting on Darkhoein, which is also in West Karoun, Shahnazi-Zadeh said the field comprises three reservoirs, namely Ilam, Sarvak and Fahlian.

Ilam contains 2.2 billion barrels of oil, Sarvak 1 billion and Fahlian 5.4 billion barrels.


"Fahlian was tapped under a two-phase development project that is now complete. The first and second phases of the project were developed by Eni and they have been handed over to Arvandan Oil and Gas Company for production operations," he said the official.

The official noted that negotiations are underway with foreign enterprises to develop Darkhoein’s other two reservoirs, as well as a smaller part of Fahlian.

"This will be the third phase which, by using the latest EOR and IOR technologies, will increase production to 250,000 bpd," he said.

Asked about implementing recovery initiatives with international firms, Shahnazi-Zadeh said the company has started using IOR in Yaran to increase production from 20,000 to 30,000 bpd.

"We are now purchasing 10 pumps to increase capacity beyond the current production. The final stage of EOR and IOR will be executed by the IPC [Iran Petroleum Contract] partner to be selected for the field soon," he said.


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