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EghtesadOnline: The South Zagros Oil and Gas Production Company is speeding up exploration and production activities at inland oil and gas fields, where upstream projects have been delayed due to priority attached to production from joint hydrocarbon reserves.

SZOGPC chief executive officer, Gholamhossein Montazeri says he expects crude oil production from Khesht Oilfield, in Kazerun in central Fars Province, to commence by the third quarter of next year.

"Production from Khesht Oilfield is slated to begin by the middle of the next fiscal year (September 2018) at a rate of 20,000 barrels per day. The output will be transferred to the port of Genaveh (Bushehr Province) for export," he was quoted as saying by the National Iranian Oil Company news portal on Tuesday.

Latest estimates show the field holds 1.53 billion barrels of mostly light crude oil in place, some 270 million barrels of which are deemed recoverable. According to published reports, the field was discovered in 1992, but development has been hampered by operational and funding issues, according to Financial Tribune.

Most of the developed oil and gas fields are in the southern and southwestern regions, notably the fields in the oil-rich Khuzestan Province that straddle the Iran-Iraq border as well as South Pars, a giant offshore gas field in the Persian Gulf shared with Qatar.

Development of hydrocarbon reserves in the central regions, however, has been sluggish, in part because the government has given priority to joint oil and gas resources.

Montazeri added that the SZOGPC produced an estimated $9 billion worth of fossil fuels in the previous fiscal that ended in March.

"A total of 62 billion cubic meters of natural gas, about 20 million barrels of gas condensates and 2.2 million barrels of crude oil was produced in the last fiscal," the official noted.

He said the company is ready to ramp up gas production to 200 million cubic meters per day in winter, making the largest contribution in terms of gas supplies after South Pars with more than 500 mcm in daily production.

A subsidiary of the Iranian Central Oil Fields Company, SZOGPC operates 9 natural gas fields and 2 oilfields in the central and southern provinces of Fars, Bushehr and Hormozgan.

The company also oversees 37 exploration projects and aims to expand operations across the Kohgiluyeh-Boyer Ahmad and Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari provinces.

The Zagros Mountains, which stretch from Turkey in the northwest across the western borders and all the way to the western and central regions south of Iran, have excellent structural traps for the accumulation of hydrocarbons.

Iran oil fields Iran gas fields SZOGPC South Zagros Oil and Gas Production Company Iran inland fields