EghtesadOnline: Work on boosting output from Azar joint oilfield in western Ilam Province will be complete soon, managing director of the Oil Industries Engineering and Construction Group said.
Oil extraction from the field started in 2017 with daily production of 15,000 barrels and reached 30,000 barrels a year later, Gholamreza Manouchehri said. With the development plan in its final stage, “production from the joint field has reached 65,000 bpd,” the Oil Ministry news agency Shana quoted him as saying.
“The contract for the field was signed in 2011 between the National Iranian Oil Company, OIEC and Ahdaf Investment Company,” he said, adding that the project cost $1.7 billion. Funding was provided by the National Development Fund of Iran and Ahdaf Company.
The plan included drilling 19 wells and constructing 320 km of oil and gas transmission pipelines. Almost 75% of the equipment used in the process was made by domestic manufacturers.
Stretching over 400 square kilometers, Azar Oilfield is shared with Iraq, where it is known as Badra. It is located 20 kilometers from the city of Mehran in Ilam Province in the Anaran exploration block.
The field’s first exploration well was drilled in 2003 but was abandoned a year later due to technical issues. A second well was drilled in 2005.
Azar holds 2.5 billion barrels of in-place oil and the volume that can be extracted is around 400 million barrels. It is one of the six fields owned jointly with Iraq, along with Dehloran, West Paydar, Naft-Shahr, Azadegan and Yadavaran.
OIEC is a leading private engineering, procurement and construction company active in exploration and production, upstream services and energy trade. Founded in 1987, it offers a range of EPC services and is considered as one of the prominent players in the oil and gas industry.
Its activities include operating oil and gas refineries and pipelines, and petrochemical plants. The company is also involved in the developing onshore and offshore fields.
Although Iran’s oil industry has been hit by US sanctions since mid-2018, which reduced Iran’s oil exports to record lows, Iran has continued to increase production in the hope that the siege will be lifted when the president-elect Joe Biden takes office.
Donald Trump, the embattled US president, imposed economic sanctions in August 2018, targeting key industrial sectors, oil, banking and insurance. In the May of that year Trump tore up the landmark 2015 nuclear deal Iran had signed with the six world powers. In November 2018, Washington imposed the so-called “maximum pressure” policy targeting everything that could be hit.
Iran shipped over 2.5 million barrels per day of crude oil in April 2018. Unofficial reports show the figure plunged to 200,000 bpd.
Iran has not stopped oil exploration, development and capacity building under Trump’s economic war as the country prepares for the post-Trump era when it seeks to reach maximum production of 4 million bpd in three months.