EghtesadOnline: Crude oil production from Azar Oilfield in the western Ilam Province near the Iraqi border has been stabilized at 30,000 barrels per day.
According to the National Iranian Oil Company's news portal, Azar Oilfield became operational in early March at a rate of 15,000 bpd, but extraction rate has since been pushed to 31,000 barrels a day. So far, more than 4.5 million barrels of oil have been extracted from the field.
According to Behzad Mohammadi, managing director of the Oil Industries Engineering and Construction Company, plans have been devised to stabilize output at 65,000 bpd in the near future, for which 10 wells have been drilled and operations to drill seven more are underway.
"Due to the complexity of oil production in the field, the second phase of the oilfield will be developed under the new contractual framework of oil and gas deals, dubbed Iran Petroleum Contract, in cooperation with international energy companies," Financial Tribune quoted him as saying.
Stressing that completion of the second phase will boost the field's output to 100,000 bpd, the official said, "The field's crude oil API, a measure of how heavy or light petroleum liquids are compared to water, stands at 33, which ranks it among medium grade crudes."
The OIEC and Russia's Gazprom Neft signed a memorandum of understanding in July in the Russian city of St. Petersburg to assess the potentials of Changuleh and Azar oilfields in Ilam.
Azar holds 2.5 billion barrels of crude oil and is one of the joint fields with Iraq, along with Dehloran, West Paydar, Naft-Shahr, Azadegan and Yadavaran.
S. Azadegan Output
Oil production from the giant South Azadegan field near the Iraqi border has also increased by 22,000 barrels per day.
The field's current output stands at 83,000 bpd. Reportedly, operations to extract crude from the field started in 2010 after drilling 21 wells.
In addition, 33 wells have been drilled in the giant field since the beginning of the present fiscal in March, boosting production by 22,000 bpd. The added output is transferred to Jofeir processing facility in Khuzestan Province.
South Azadegan field's development project is being undertaken with the help of Iranian firms and internal financial resources.
Nonetheless, the field's second phase will be developed via a tender within the framework of IPC.
According to Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, multinationals, including Italian oil and gas firm Eni, China's CNPC, Royal Dutch Shell, France's Total, Japan's Inpex and Malaysia's Petronas, have submitted their master development plans to expand Azadegan Oilfield.
Shell, Total and Petronas have been touted as potential candidates to develop the field.
NIOC has also clarified that it would welcome the formation of an international consortium of British, Japanese and French firms to develop Azadegan.
Azadegan, which is divided into northern and southern sections, has about 33 billion barrels of oil in place, of which 6 billion barrels are recoverable. It is the biggest oilfield discovered in Iran over three decades.
Iran has envisaged two major development phases for South Azadegan: Its production capacity is expected to reach 320,000 barrels a day in the first phase, while the target for the second phase is contingent on output levels in the first phase of development.