EghtesadOnline: Early production from South Yaran Oilfield near the Iraqi border has started since last week, the chief executive officer of Iran's Petroleum Engineering and Development Company said.
"Upon the completion of drilling operations for six wells at the site, 10,000 barrels of crude are being extracted per day from Yaran's southern flank," Noureddine Shahnazizadeh was also quoted as saying by the National Iranian Oil Company's news portal on Monday.
Shahnazizadeh had earlier said production from South Yaran Oilfield would begin by March 2018—the end of the current fiscal year.
According to the official, output from Yaran's southern section is delivered to South Azadegan pipeline, which is then sent to oil terminals in the south to be exported to target destinations, Financial Tribune reported.
Pointing to large-scale drilling operations, Shahnazizadeh noted that the National Iranian Drilling Company has completed the drilling of 18 wells in the field, of which 15 were in Sarvak and three in Godvan formations.
The official added without elaboration that output has reached 30,000 barrels per day from the North Yaran field, but plans are in place to triple the output using enhanced oil recovery techniques.
Yaran Oilfield, divided into the north and south sections, adjoins Iraq's Majnoon Oilfield at the Iran-Iraq border. It has an estimated 2 billion barrels of oil in place.
According to reports, PEDEC was assigned to develop South Yaran in 2013.
"The NIOC is ready to assign Persia Oil and Gas Industry Development Company to expand South and North Yaran fields. NIOC intends to unify the northern and southern sections of Yaran oilfield into one project and it is proceeding with works to include an addendum in the contract," Shahnazizadeh said, adding that the revised contract should first be approved by NIOC before being signed by the contractor.
According to Kazemeyni, the head of the field's development plan at PEDEC, the lack of data on the field's geological survey and recoverable reserves, as well as funding constraints, has slowed the development of South Yaran project.
Yaran is one of the several joint fields in the West Karun region, an oil exploration block in Khuzestan Province with an estimated 65 billion barrels of oil reserves. The block includes several deposits, including the giant Azadegan and Yadavaran fields.
NIOC also eyes a unified scheme to develop the prized Azadegan oil deposit that is split into the northern and southern sections, and contains an estimated 33 billion barrels of oil in place.
NIOC had singled out the southern extension of Azadegan as the first of a series of oil and gas fields to be tendered to multinationals. According to recent reports, however, both sections of the shared field could be awarded in a single contract.
Tehran has prioritized the development of its joint oil deposits to expand its footprint in the global crude market. The No. 3 producer of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has increased output to almost 4 million barrels a day.
It plans to add 700,000 barrels to daily production capacity by 2021. Daily exports now amount to more than 2 million bpd of crude oil and between 600,000 and 700,000 barrels of condensates, a type of ultra light crude.
Officials say Iran is currently drawing crude from West Karun block at an unacceptable extraction rate of 5-6%, but plans call for raising the recovery rate to 25% by implementing advanced recovery methods.