Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr.12
By Dalga Khatinoglu – Trend:
Iran exported 2.6 million barrels of crude oil and gas condensate per day during the last fiscal year (ended March 20), of which 2 mb/d was crude oil, said Iran’s oil minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh.
Zanganeh said that during the sanctions era (2012-2015), about 70 million barrels of unsold gas condensate stockpile was stored on tankers, but after the removal of sanctions in January 2016, the volume was sold gradually and reached about zero by March 20, 2017, IRNA reported.
Therefore, Iran had sold 2.6 mb/d of newly produced oil and gas condensate and sold 200,000 b/d from its gas condensate stockpile on water during last year.
During the sanctions era, Iran’s oil (including gas condensate) output and export volume decreased from 4.1 mb/d and 2.5 mb/d to 3.3 mb/d and 1.2 mb/d respectively.
Zanganeh said that Iran plans to keep the export volume unchanged during the current fiscal year.
However, he has announced a week earlier that Iran plans to export 2.4 mb/d of oil and gas condensate during the current fiscal year.
Iran also plans to inaugurate the first phase of Persian Star Refinery this summer, which would add 120,000 b/d to the country’s refining capacity.
Zanganeh further said that Iran plans to increase the production volume from West Karoon block, Azer field and South Pars gas field’s oil layer.
He said that the country’s oil production volume is expected to reach 4 mb/d during the current fiscal year.
Iran started the 15,000 b/d of oil production from Azer field, which is projected to double in summer.
The country also started 25,000 b/d of oil extraction from South Pars last month and the volume is projected to reach 35,000 b/d. Iran also plans to increase the oil output from West Karoon block, including five giant fields, to about 300,000 b/d. Currently, the volume is more than
two times less than the mentioned figure.
However, about 80 percent of Iran’s active oil fields are in their second half life and lose annually 8-12 percent of their productivity naturally due to pressure fall in reserves.
Iran has re-injected 70-80 million cubic meters per day into the oil fields to maintain the crude oil output, but the volume is 3.5-4 times less than the needed gas recycling volume.
During the last several years, Iran shut downed some of fields due to sanctions and export decline, while the gas re-injection continued.
Therefore, during the last fiscal year, after resuming the oil extraction from those fields the production level was stable and the pressure of reserves was high relatively, though the ,output of fields, controlled by Iranian Offshore Oil Company decreased by 0.2 mb/d to 407,000 b/d during last fiscal year, compared to the pre-sanctions era.
Iran has planned to issue tenders on 49 oil and gas fields based on newly designed agreements, called Iran Petroleum Contract (IPC) to increase oil production to 4.7 mb/d by 2021. However, IPC is still under the study of the Supreme National Security Council, waiting to be approved.
Iran needs $100 billion to develop the mentioned 49 oil and gas fields, of which 80 percent is projected to come from foreign investments.
Dalga Khatinoglu is the head of Trend Agency’s Iran news service, follow him on Twitter: @dalgakhatinoglu