S. Azadegan Output to Hit 320,000 bpd

S. Azadegan Output to Hit 320,000 bpdS. Azadegan Output to Hit 320,000 bpd

Drilling operations of the South Azadegan Development Plan continue at a good pace in the past six months, said the project manager on Sunday, adding that the oilfield will reach its production target of 320,000 barrels per day (bpd) in the next three years.

"The first phase of the South Azadegan oilfield will come online in 2017," Shana news agency quoted Mahmoud Marashi as saying.

Expressing satisfaction with the progress in development of the oilfield, Marashi said that drilling operations are underway after deploying 16 drilling rigs. He said 185 wells are expected to be drilled for the first phase of the field's development plan.

South Azadegan oilfield has started initial production after drilling of 21 wells, producing 50 thousand bpd already.

Development contract of South Azadegan oilfield was signed first in 2004 with a Japanese company in the form of a buyback contract, but the Japanese partner, Inpex, refused to go ahead with the plan after two years, mainly due to western sanctions imposed on Iran over its nuclear energy program.

CNPC from China thereupon took charge but it made very little progress in development of the oilfield after 19 months in the project.

When President Hassan Rouhani took office in 2013, the government set a 90-day deadline for CNPC to accelerate development operation and finally decided to annul the contract after the Chinese side failed to fulfill its commitments.  

At present, the project faces no problem with regard to meeting necessary funds for development of the oilfield, according to officials.

Marashi pointed out that a total of 185 wells should be drilled in the South Azadegan oilfield before the project becomes operational, adding that construction of the processing unit on the field will begin next month.

Besides, production from North Azadegan oilfield is expected to reach 75,000 b/d in the coming months, the project contractor said Sunday.

“The first development phase for production of 75,000 b/d is to be completed in six months,” Keramat Behbahani stated.

He said that the Petroleum Engineering and Development Company (PEDEC) is currently conducting studies for the second phase of the oilfield's development plan.

Behbahani said the Chinese company developing the field has accelerated its work after receiving a warning from the oil ministry. He said the Chinese contractor can also operate the second phase of the project unless it decides to pull out.