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EghtesadOnline: In line with the Energy Ministry's push to boost output from joint hydrocarbon reservoirs, Iran's Petroleum Engineering and Development Company (PEDEC) is making efforts to ramp up crude production from the West Karoun oil block at the Iran-Iraq border, which is lagging behind schedule, PEDEC chief executive said.

"West Karoun, with 13 oilfields, enjoys top priority since the block's in-place oil reservoir is estimated to be about 67 billion barrels," Touraj Dehqani was also quoted as saying by Shana.

Noting that the block's collective output is currently 300,000 barrels per day, he said the production rate is set to increase by 100,000 bpd by the end of the current fiscal (March 2019).

However, the PEDEC chief added, the reservoir's extraction was hoped to reach 565,000 bpd in the first phase and exceed 1.2 million bpd in the second phase, according to Financial Tribune.

"The block's development is lagging behind the envisaged plans and this could lead to a loss of revenues and consequently a big share of the market," he said.

According to Dehqani, even at such an extraction rate, about 6.4 billion barrels can be extracted from the oilfields, which will earn $230 billion in revenues for the country at the rate of $50 per barrel.

Iran shares a number of oil and gas reservoirs with neighboring countries, including several oil deposits with Iraq that shares over 1,400 kilometers of border with Iran to the west.

West Karoun is the name of an oil-rich region in Khuzestan that includes several large oilfields, including Azadegan, Yaran and Yadavaran, with the first two divided into north and south projects. 

According to published reports, Iran is currently drawing crude from the block at an unacceptable extraction rate of 5-6%.

As per previous reports, Iran has outpaced Iraq's crude extraction rate from the block.

Iraq is extracting 320,000 bpd from West Karoun oilfields, whereas Iran's output has exceeded 350,000 bpd.

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.

Dehqani noted that PEDEC's main strategies are to increase the fields’ recovery coefficient and use enhanced oil recovery and improved oil recovery technologies to boost output.

"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," he said.

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

The company, which is a subsidiary of the National Iranian Oil Company, is also planning to raise production at South Azadegan Oilfield. 

In addition to increasing oil production capacity, PEDEC aims to implement the contract by leasing South Azadegan’s skid-mounted processing units, pursue the development plan of Yadavaran Oilfield’s second phase and finalize a deal to develop Azadegan Oilfield, which includes southern and northern sections, by March.


PEDEC West Karoun Oil Block