Experts differ in assessing Iran's oil and gas opportunities in Caspian Sea

Oil&Gas Materials 16 May 2012 17:53 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, May 16 / Trend /

Iran has stated about launching the oil and gas extraction operations in Iran's sector of the Caspian Sea.

Iran's oil minister Rostam Qasemi said earlier that the first "oil" torch will be sparked on the "Amir Kabir" platform (Alborz).

However, in an interview with the German broadcasting company Deutsche Welle (DW), the experts differed in opinions on Iran's oil and gas extraction opportunities in the Caspian Sea.

While saying that the "Alborz" platform is semi-submersible, Trend Persian news service head Dalga Khatinoglu emphasized that these platforms are used in field exploration.

He said that stationary platforms are required for oil and gas extraction. It is surprising that Iran extracts oil or gas through this platform.

Qasemi said that a field with gas reserves amounting to 50 trillion cubic feet (more than 1.4 trillion cubic meters) and oil - 10 billion barrels was discovered in the Iranian sector of the Caspian Sea in December 2011. The deposit called "Sardar Jangal" is located 188 kilometers to the north of the coast of Gilan province and 250 kilometers north-west of the Neka port.

According to the received data, a new field is ten times larger than "Shah Deniz" field in Azerbaijan (reserves amounting to 1.2 trillion cubic meters), Qasemi said.

Earlier, Iran has carried out unsuccessful exploration operations in various sectors of the Caspian Sea through the "Amir Kabir" platform seven times, but this time they were successful.

Khatinoglu said that several wells with a depth of over 7,000 meters were drilled to explore the potential of "Shah Deniz" field. Thus, by drilling a well with a depth of 700 meters, it is impossible to know the potential of the field.

The platforms, as well as the infrastructure for their production, transportation, construction of underwater gas pipelines, research and other work are required for oil and gas extraction at sea, he said. Iran does not have such infrastructure.

In an interview with DW, a representative of the Turkmen Oil and Gas Ministry, who requested to remain anonymous, said that Ashgabat discovered oil reservoirs in the Caspian Sea at a depth of 4,000 meters. Therefore, it is doubtful that Iran may discover a field at a depth of 700 meters.

Expert on energy issues and coordinator of the research center of the Caspian countries in Berlin Behrooz Abdolvand told DW TV and Radio Company that a company or a neighboring country has not officially denied the information about a field discovered by Iran in the Caspian Sea.

If Iran is engaged in gas production at this field, it will actually be able to increase its regional importance for Europe, he said.