14 December 2021 - 15:17
  • News Code: 450352
$11bn Investment Needed for West Karoun Projects

TEHRAN (Shana) -- Mohsen Khojasteh-Mehr, CEO of National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), has said that development of the West Karoun cluster of oil fields would be a priority for the current administration. He has said that $11 billion in investment would be needed over four years to develop the jointly owned fields in West Karoun.

The oil fields located in West Karoun are currently supplying 400,000 b/d, but NIOC intends to maximize output from those shared with Iraq.

The oil fields in West Karoun start near the city of Ahvaz and stretch to the end of the Iranian border. The width and length of this oil rectangle is from the western coast of the Karoun near the Jofair region to the joint border of Iran and Iraq and from the south of Chazabeh to the west of the Darquain region, which forms the same oil region west of the Karoun. The West Karun zone is home to Azadegan (North Azadegan, South Azadegan, North Yaran and South Yaran oil fields) and Yadavaran (Kushk and Hosseinieh oil fields) zones. These fields are estimated to hold more than 67 billion barrels of oil in place.

West Karoun Projects

The first development phases of Yadavaran, North Azadegan, and Yaran came online under the previous administration. South Azadegan oil field was developed by the Petroleum Engineering and Development Company (PEDEC) and currently Petropars is handling the field. Yaran development project has been awarded to the Persia Oil and Gas Company.

Khojasteh-Mehr has said some faults with the agreement signed between PEDEC and contractors had delayed development of these fields. He has said that the shortfall in West Karoun had not been made up. The official has specifically said that in some cases the projects faced delay due to time lapse between the announcement of a tender bid and implementation of a project.

Khojasteh-Mehr has called on PEDEC’s new chief, Abuzar Sharifi, to finish the process of development of the South Azadegan field in one year time from now.

Minister of Petroleum Javad Owji said recently in a meeting with a representative of China’s Sinopec (that has developed Phase 1 of Yadavaran) that the 13th administration was open to all-out cooperation with Chinese firms for upstream and downstream oil development projects.

Owji had also expressed hope that Iran’s petroleum industry would be able to attract $145 billion in investment.

Referring to talks with the Chinese side to develop the second phase of Yadavaran, Khojasteh-Mehr said: “Currently, the production capacity of this field stands at around 110,000 b/d and unfortunately no agreement was signed for the second phase development of this field under the 11th administration.”

Return to Pre-Sanctions Levels

Iran’s petroleum industry is still under sanctions, and this has led to a decline in the oil production capacity over recent years. NIOC is now ready to restore its oil production capacity to that of the pre-sanctions levels. During a recent visit to Assaluyeh, Khojasteh-Mehr emphasized that one of the priorities of the 13th administration was to enhance the country's crude oil production capacity to the pre-sanctions level, adding: “In recent years, for various reasons, we have lost part of our oil production capacity and joint fields are lagging behind the development plan.”

Noting that the South Azadegan project had been awarded to China for an output of 320,000 b/d, he said: “Under the 11th administration this agreement did not take effect for various reasons, leading to $6 billion in lucrum cessans.”

With the development of West Karoun fields, Iran would be able to recover more than 1 million barrels form this area. NIOC has said it would use domestically manufactured commodities to fund remaining projects in West Karoun.

No Project Delay

Since PEDEC is in contact with various contractors for operating its projects, the NIOC chief has asked it to upgrade its contracting and commercial divisions in a bid to prevent loss of capital or delay in major projects.

“We believe that in order to carry out affairs better, while relying on the activities that have been done before, we need to pay special attention to strengthening the positive points and eliminating the weaknesses in the previous management periods,” said Khojasteh-Mehr.

He added that balanced development was a sign of integration in NIOC projects, adding that social development had to be taken into consideration in NIOC activities.

“In light of the missions assigned to NIOC in the economic sector, when using the keyword of development at the level of this company, it should be noted that this process should ultimately lead to economic development. In this process, it is necessary to consider time management and productivity as two basic elements,” he said.

Mission Possible

Sharifi said: “Throughout my work at PEDEC I have learned that this company has qualified human resources. I assure you that PEDEC is able to accomplish all missions assigned to it by NIOC.”

He said that PEDEC’s main mission was to develop oil fields in West Karoun. “To carry out this mission, we have plans under way. We will try to focus upon them in a bid to increase oil production by the end of next [calendar] year.”

Referring to diversity in PEDEC contracts, he said: “Just in the Goreh-Jask pipeline project, there are more than 15 EPC contracts that have been pooled.”

Courtesy of Iran Petroleum

News Code 450352


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