Iran’s green oil output growth insignificant
Baku, Azerbaijan, March 31
By Dalga Khatinoglu - Trend:
Despite a huge rise in Iran's oil exports, the pace of output growth seems to be much less than that of exports. In the meantime, the main part of oil output is expected to come from old fields rather than the new ones.
According to the latest statistics released by the International Energy Agency and Reuters surveys, Iran increased oil export to about 1.55 million barrels per day (mb/d) in March 2016 from the 2015 average export level of 1.1 mb/d.
But the country's total oil output rose by less than 300,000 b/d in February 2016 according to an OPEC monthly report released in mid-March.
Earlier, Iran said it would increase oil exports by one billion barrels per day.
The additional barrels are to come from the existing production capacity, which was shut down during the sanctions era.
On March 30, the head of the International Energy Agency Fatih Birol announced that Iran is expected to add half a million barrels of oil supply a day within one year from its existing oil fields, but developing new fields would take time.
Iran has about 30-50 million barrels of crude oil and gas condensate stored in tankers, which makes it possible for Iran to keep exports at the current level for more than half a year without an immediate need to increase the output level.
According to official documents, obtained by Trend on March 26, Iran's Oil Ministry is focused on three major green (not yet operational) oil fields, but they can only add less than 0.1 mb/d to the country's output level by late 2016.
The first phases of Yadavaran and North Azadegan fields, developed by about 97 percent, are expected to become operational by March 2017 and to produce about 0.1 mb/d of oil together.
The North and South Yaran fields have been developed by 51.5 percent and 74.6 percent so far, and production on them is not expected to start in 2016.
According to the said documents, Iran increased the ultra-light oil (gas condensate) production by 16 percent to 515,000 b/d, while the figure is expected to surpass 600,000 b/d by late March 2017.
Altogether, Iran can gradually add less than 0.2 mb/d to its oil output level from green fields before spring 2017.
Dalga Khatinoglu is the head of Trend Agency's Iran news service, follow him on Twitter: @dalgakhatinoglu