21 May 2023 - 13:11
  • News ID: 473056
West Karoun, Iran new oil civilization

West Karoun area in western Iran is expected to form a new oil civilization. Based on plans, Iran intends to rely on the 11 oil fields located in this area with a view to lifting its crude oil output from West Karoun fields to 1 mb/d within four years.

In fact, what is of great importance in this area is the existence of the three joint fields - Azadegan, Yaran and Yadavaran - which are among Iran's young oil fields with heavy oil. West Karoun is a relatively large area stretching from the east of the Karoun River to the border with Iraq, which, although it was a part of the oil-rich province of Khuzestan, due to the 1980s war and landmines left from that period, no exploration has been undertaken seriously there.

$11bn needed

Azadegan, Yaran and Yadavaran, totally hold 64 billion barrels of oil in place. CEO of National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) Mohsen Khojastehmehr said recently: “If we want to complete the development process of Azadegan, Yadavaran and Yaran, we need about $11 billion in investment. With the development of West Karoun fields, production of more than 1mb/d of oil will be realized in this area, which is one of the most prioritized projects of NIOC.”

According to initial plans, West Karoun fields’ development for 1 mb/d output was expected to have become operational by March 2022, but in the last decade, Iran's focus was on the South Pars gas field. However, with all the ups and downs, recovery from West Karoun fields has reached 400,000 b/d. NIOC intends to enhance recovery from these fields in the shortest possible time. To that end, NIOC singed $7 billion worth of agreements with Iranian banks and E&P companies.


The first phase of Yaran has already been developed by Iranian contractors. The second phase development began recently in order to raise the field’s output to 36,000 b/d.

Development of the first phase of the Yaran field in both northern and southern parts has already been completed, with 20,000 b/d of oil being recovered. The second phase development of Yaran in the northern and southern parts will be carried out under a new type of upstream oil contracts with the participation of NIOC and an Iranian company (Persia Oil and Gas Development Company).

Yaran holds 1.7 billion barrels of oil in place. The second phase development is expected to raise the recovery rate from the current 4% to 7.3%. That would bring cumulated production from this field to 40 million barrels, valued at $4 billion.

Downhole pumps have been used for the first time in this field while improved oil recovery (IOR) or enhanced oil recovery (EOR) would be used on a pilot basis.

The total investment for development of Yaran is projected at $400 million.


Yadavaran oil field is shared with Iraq's Sinbad field. This field contains 17 billion barrels of oil, of which three billion barrels is recoverable.

The development plan of this field was defined in three phases. Production in the first phase of Yadavaran development plan should reach the ceiling of 85,000 b/d, which would go up to 180,000b/d in the second phase and 300,000 b/d in the third phase. The first phase of this field was developed by a Chinese contractor, and currently 110,000 to 125,000 b/d is being produced. Recently, the CEO of NIOC announced the start of negotiations with China for the development of the second phase of Yadavaran field, saying: “Unfortunately, the agreement for the second phase development of this field was not signed under the former administration.”

Based on the master development plan, the field output is expected at 180,000 b/d in three years and 230,000 b/d in four years.

$7bn investment

Development of Azadegan field, as the largest joint oil field in Iran, is of particular importance. In the last two years of Iran’s former administration, development of the southern part of the field was practically off the priorities of the Petroleum Ministry for various reasons, and various management problems brought the project to a halt. But in the 13th administration, by making serious changes in the managerial level of the employer, especially in all levels of the Petroleum Engineering and Development Company (PEDEC), as well as making the required management changes in Petropars, which is the general contractor of the Azadegan sector, the first step is seriously taken to re-mobilize and speed up the development of this field. To that effect, Iran has recently done something new for the first time in the integrated development plan of Azadegan, that is a memorandum of understanding to simultaneously use the capacity of the country’s top state and private banks (6 banks), National Development Fund of Iran (NDFI) and local exploration and production companies (6 companies).

The Azadegan development plan, aimed at bringing output to 570,000 b/d, is to be done with a $7 billion investment. The project is projected to last seven years.

A catch up plan has also been presented in order to compensate for the delay of the project in this shared field, based on which the progress of the project is accelerating. The first phase of the development of this field is expected to be completed by March 2024 and the oil production capacity from the South Azadegan field will reach 320,000 b/d.

The production of oil from the South and North Azadegan fields is carried out while some part of the increase in the daily oil production of the South Azadegan field over the past three years has been realized using a prefabricated processing unit, which is a new method in cost-effective production. This method is expected to be used in other joint fields.

The first exploration well in ​​this oil field was spudded in 1976 and the huge reservoirs of this field were discovered by drilling the second well in 1999. Due to the large size of the Azadegan field, its development was divided into two sections, North and South Azadegan, but recently an integrated development of this field has been placed on Iran’s agenda. The first phase of the development of North Azadegan with the aim of producing 75,000 b/d through the drilling of 58 wells has been achieved.

A major point noted by NIOC officials for preventing production loss in Azadegan has been to apply EOR methods in addition to incrementally increasing its output. There are already 170 wells in this oil field, 110 of which are producing oil.

Azadegan is Iran’s largest oil field and is known to be the third largest in the world. It is estimated to hold 25.6 billion barrels of oil in place.

Iran Petroleum

News ID 473056


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