21 August 2021 - 15:24
  • News Code: 319960
Cutting Edge Technology Needed in Soroush, Reshadat

TEHRAN (Shana) -- Oil and gas production from Iran’s offshore fields dates from several decades. In light of natural fall-off in production from these fields, using foreign technology and investment would be a top priority for National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC). The Soroush and Reshadat fields are under consideration.

Western companies are quite aware that NIOC offers a lucrative opportunity for investment. Few companies would ignore such a chance. Once sanctions have been lifted on Iran, projects worth dozens of billions of dollars would be open to investment. 

Iran's petroleum industry has offered 50 oil and gas projects worth $185 billion. Iran hopes to sign agreements for these projects by 2020. One of projects in the list is Reshadat oil field located in the Persian Gulf.

Reshadat development is one of the important projects introduced after the implementation of Iran's nuclear agreement with six world powers last January. Development of Reshadat would bring its output to 80,000 b/d.

Reshadat which is situated 110 kilometers southwest of Lavan area is among Iran's old offshore fields. Discovered in 1965, it started production four years after exploration drilling and installation of three platforms. The field is currently facing many problems due to pressure fall-off. The key to resolving this problem is to use cutting edge technology for enhanced oil recovery.

Geologically speaking, this oil field is made up of three oil layers known as Shouaiba, Arab and Mishreef. The bulk of Reshadat's oil is accumulated in Shouaiba layer. However, the three layers are all producing crude oil with a high percentage of water and low percentage of gas.

With the drilling of 33 wells and the construction of Reshadat 3, Reshadat 4 and Reshadat 7 platforms, light crude oil production started from this field in 1968. The high-quality oil produced from this field has an API of 36 and has many international customers. That could be one of the most important attractions of working in this field for foreign companies.

The platforms of Reshadat field were serving as the frontlines of resistance during eight years of imposed war. These platforms were bombarded frequently. With the full restoration of Reshadat field installations, the last remaining installations are restored by the IOOC.

Currently, new processing platforms (P4 and Q4) for the development of Reshadat field are under construction by Iran Marine Industrial Company. Moreover, two wellhead drilling platforms (W0 and W4) have been installed and most of new wells have been spudded. Development of this field currently needs more than ever foreign investment and technology.

A total of 28 wells have been drilled within the framework of Reshadat development. Of these 28, five wells have been spudded. The remaining wells are being drilled.

Recently, within the framework of second-phase early production, a separator has been installed in the old platform on three other wells in this field. That would bring Reshadat output to more than 20,000 b/d.

Due to damage inflicted on the subsea structures of the platforms of this field during the imposed war, drilling operations, transfer to and installation of separator in the specified spot were postponed to after the reinforcement of the structure. In the last Iranian calendar year, the separator was successfully moved to the platform after subsea structures were retrofitted.

Once the field is fully developed and all wells are drilled, production from Reshadat will enhance significantly. However, completion of this project and the start of production from this field would depend on financing and clarifications about its domestic contractor.

Iranian-Italian Oil Company (IMINICO) first discovered Reshadat in 1965. The same company developed it. This field has 33 wells in three platforms known as R-3, R-4 and R-7.

Currently, oil extraction and production is limited to Platform R4. Other platforms are non-operational. R4 will be also phased out after new wells would be completed.

Development of Reshadat started in the late 1980s to bring its production to 75,000 b/d. Therefore, drilling 30 wells, constructing a storage tank with a capacity of 500,000 b/d and building a 185-kilometer pipeline topped the agenda. Based on future plans, recovery from this field is expected to increase by 5,000 to 7,000 b/d.

Operators of this field have mobilized logistics units and offshore reconstruction group under tough weather conditions in southern Iran have handled the pipe laying, installation and testing of separator equipment. After the end of pre-commissioning and commissioning operators last September, the new separator led oil and gas into the field and significantly reduced oil in the water. After the end of development operations, the output of this field will increase from the current 8,000 b/d to more than 75,000 b/d.

The new development project for this field is being carried out in five phases for the output of 78,000 b/d. The five phases are: drilling, jacket installation, and installation of equipment on the platform, pipe laying and construction of a 500,000-barrel storage tank in Lavan Island.

In the Reshadat development project, the drilling phase is behind other phases in terms of meeting the deadline. After problems of this sector have been resolved, drilling and completion of wells will last between two and two-and-a-half years starting from the date of installation of two drilling rigs in the field.

Soroush, Largest Offshore Field

Soroush, which started production in 2001 in partnership with Royal Dutch Shell in 2001, is known as Iran’s largest offshore oil field. Due to natural decline in production, this field needs to be upgraded with modern technology in order to be developed. The main reservoir of this field is Bourgen located in the west of the Persian Gulf.

Soroush is located in Bushehr Province, more precisely 83 kilometers southwest of Kharg Island. Discovered in 1962, the field became operational at a rate of 14,000 b/d after the drilling of the first well. The field was harmed severely during the 1980-1988 imposed war. The field halted production during the conflict. Arrangements for the renovation of this field started in 2000 and development of the field began two years later.

Iran’s Petroleum Ministry introduced Soroush for foreign investment during a conference held a couple of years ago to roll out a new type of oil contract. Iran hopes to lift output from old fields by using major oil companies’ capital and cutting edge technology.

During 15 years of production, Soroush has produced only less than 3% of its reserves, or about 360 million barrels of oil.

Soroush last underwent development under a buyback deal with Shell in 2000. Under this deal, 10 horizontal wells were drilled in the field. In total, there are 32 wells in Soroush, producing oil with an API gravity of 14 to 21. The API gravity of the oil currently being produced is 18.

Soroush remains the largest field owned by the Iranian Offshore Oil Company (IOOC); however, it is among the oldest oil reservoirs in Iran. As a mature and brown field, it needs modern technologies to supply more oil.

The heavy crude oil extracted from Soroush is blended with that of nearby Norouz field to be shipped to the Persian Gulf floating terminal before being sold by the Directorate of International Affairs of National Iranian Oil Company.

A major advantage with the Soroush platform is its simultaneous supply and export of oil and gas. Furthermore, it is among rare platforms where no flaring projects have been implemented. Before Shell, American and Italian companies were developing the field.

Enhanced recovery from Soroush started in the wake of an agreement signed between IOOC and Sahand University of Technology. The agreement was signed by CEO of IOOC and chancellor of Sahand University of Technology.

NIOC officials say Soroush has recovery rate of 5% under normal conditions, which is much lower than that of similar fields. Enhanced oil recovery (EOR) methods would raise the recovery rate to 10 to 15%.

Under the 10-year agreement, universities will be required to carry out EOR studies in a bid to devise short-term and long-term plans for boosting production from Soroush.

NIOC is currently focusing on maximum efficient recovery (MER) from oil and gas fields across the country and enhancing oil recovery from Soroush.

Courtesy of Iran Petroleum

News Code 319960

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