How much is oil recovery rate in Iran?
Dalga Khatinoglu, Trend's Iran News Service Chief
The Iranian deputy oil minister has announced that since 2005 the country's oil reserves have increased by 110 billion barrels due to discovered new oilfields. He has added that Iran's in-situ oil reserves stand at 800 billion barrels.
Mohsen Khojastehmehr told the Mehr News Agency On February 25, that the country's recoverable oil reserves are estimated to be over 157 billion barrels.
Comparing the figures for proven oil reserves and the recoverable oil reserves, it will be revealed that Iran's oil recovery factor is less than 20 percent.
In other words, Iran is able to extract just 20 percent of its oil reserves. Of course, the figure varies for different oilfields, but the average figure will not exceed 20 percent.
According to Iran's Fifth Five-Year Economic Development Plan, the oil recovery rate should be increased by 1 percent by implementation of enhanced oil recovery methods. Based on Iranian media reports, citing oil officials, Iran is currently experimenting different methods to raise oil recovery rate, so that 10 gas injection projects are underway across southern oil regions, one gas injection project is underway in the Darkhovin region, and five water injection project is underway by the Iranian Offshore Oilfields Company. Moreover, several horizontal and infill wells are reportedly drilled.
According to the reports, the Fourth Five-Year Economic Development Plan had envisaged boosting the oil recovery rate by one percent, but the goal was not materialized. Recently, Karim Zobaidi, the official in charge of research and executive affairs for boosting oil recovery at Iran's Oil Ministry, has said that the recovery rate has increased by 0.28 percent in line with the fifth development plan. This is while two years has passed from the five-year plan and the increase in the recovery rate had not been announced in recent months.
Two years ago, Hormoz Qalavand, the managing director of the National Iranian Southern Oilfields Company, announced that the oil recovery rate was 29 percent at that time. He added that 10 methods were being practiced by Iran to boost the recovery percentage, and that the most common method was gas injection.
He also referred to other methods, including carbon dioxide and nitrogen injection, but to date no report has been released in this regard. On February 12, Emad Ro'ayaee, the director for planning at the research center of boosting oil and gas recovery, stated that after signing a contract with a number of technological centers and implementing dioxide injection projects into oil wells, it is expected that oil recovery rate will rise by 8 to 14 percent. It means that the dioxide injection plan is currently in the study phase.
In June 2012, Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi put the oil recovery rate at 25 percent and added that the figure should reach 38 to 40 percent.
According to OPEC report, Irans recoverable oil resourses stand at around 154 billion barrel.
At present, some 80 percent of oilfields in Iran are in their second half of age and the country's oil production falls by over 300,000 barrels annually just due to low pressure at oilfields.
According to Iran's Oil Ministry studies, the country needs $70 billion to invest in projects for raising oil and gas recovery rate and extract $700 billion worth of oil and condensates from old fields. This goal seems to be impossible taking the bad economic situation in Iran into account.