Iranian companies drill wells over 50,000 meters of depth at South Azadegan oilfield

Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 10
By Fatih Karimov - Trend:

Iranian companies have drilled wells over 50,000 meters of depth at the South Azadegan oilfield, said Mahmoud Marashi, South Azadegan oilfield's development project manager.
Marashi said the Chinese contractor had drilled 40,000 meters of wells over 19 months, while the Iranian contractors have drilled 50,000 meters of wells over 6 months, Iran's IRNA news agency reported on Jan. 10.

In 2009, China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) signed a memorandum of understanding with Iran, promising to pay 90 percent of development costs for the South Azadegan oilfield while taking ownership of a 70 percent stake. An Iranian official said the project needed investment of up to $2.5 billion.

In Feb. 2013, Iran issued an ultimatum to CNPC over its continuous delays in developing the oilfield.

At the time, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said "If this trend continues, we will expel CNPC from the project."

In July 2014, the managing director of Iran's Petroleum Engineering and Development Company (PEDEC), Abdolreza Haji Hosseinnejad, said that some $500 million should be invested in the first phase of the project. The oilfield is projected to produce 320,000 barrels of oil per day, he added.

Iraq, which owns the other half the South Azadegan joint oilfield, started producing 175,000 barrels of oil per day at the field in September 2013.

While Iran's production rate stands at 50,000 barrel per day, Baghdad plans to increase its production at the field up to 400,000 barrels per day in the near future.

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