EghtesadOnline: Oil production at joint oil fields in West Karoun region bordering Iraq has been reduced by 6% as a precautionary measure to prevent environmental damage in the area, the managing director of the Petroleum Engineering and Development Company said.
Production from West Karoun oilfields, namely North Azadegan, South Azadegan, North Yaran, South Yaran and Yadavaran, has been cut by 20,000 barrels per day in the past month, down to 330,000 bpd from the regular 350,000 bpd, ILNA reported Touraj Dehqani as saying.
Oilfields owned jointly by Iran and Iraq are located near the Hawizeh Wetlands that straddles the border between the two neighbors and is known to locals as Hoor al-Azim. The block holds an estimated 70 billion barrels of oil in place. With the fields fully operational, their output could reach 1 million bpd, the official noted.
“For the past two years, 80% of Hoor al-Azim always had water and the recent rainfall and floods increased its water to 98%,” Financial Tribune quoted Dehqani as saying.
Areas to the West of Karoun River in oil-rich Khuzestan Province in the southwest are permanently exposed to flooding, however, despite the difficult conditions, oil-related activities have continued and environmental standards upheld in joint oilfields’ activities.
Regarding the recent floods and rise of water level in the oilfields, production from 12 wells are on hold due to environmental considerations.
Oil facilities at risk of inundation have been shut down to protect the environment and precautionary measures are being taken not to let more water flow into the oilfields, Dehqani said.
“No technical problems, oil leaks or contamination have been reported in the fields, and black spots seen on the water surface in some areas are algae,” he was also quoted as saying by the news agency.
Regarding the impact of floods in the production process of the joint fields in Iraq, Dehqani said: “The neighboring country has certainly been affected by the situation”. However, he said he has no confirmed information about oil production in the Arab country.
The flooding that started on March 19 has been Iran’s worst in over six decades. Floods have hit 1,900 cities and villages across Iran but the western and southwestern areas have been affected the most.
Flash floods caused by torrential rains have killed at least 80 people, forced more than 220,000 into emergency shelters and caused an estimated $2.5 billion in damage to roads, bridges, homes and farmland.
Over 210 villages and six cities in Khuzestan have been told to evacuate amid the threat of floods. More rain has been predicted to hit southern and western parts of the country in the coming days. Total damage to oil facilities is estimated at 10 trillion rials ($100 million).