Iran signs South Pars drilling deal

Iran’s Oil Ministry has signed a deal with an Iranian contractor company for drilling two appraisal wells in the South Pars oil layer, which is shared with Qatar.

The contract valued at about USD 182 million was signed between Pars Oil and Gas Company and the Global Petrotech Company in the presence of Iran’s Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi on Monday.

According to the contract, the Iranian company must drill two appraisal wells in 40 months to assess the South Pars field’s oil exploitation potential.

The wells will also provide information on the amount of in-place oil reserves of the field and pave the way for the formulation of a major development plan for the offshore field.

A major feature of the project is six kilometers of horizontal drilling in the South Pars field’s oil layer aimed at gathering information and upgrading reservoir models of the joint oil field.

More than 90 percent of the South Pars oil layer is situated in Qatar’s territorial waters. Qatar has so far drilled more than 160 offshore wells and is producing more than 400,000 barrels per day of crude oil by continued injection of water into the oil layer.

According to official figures, after completion of some development projects, Qatar’s production from the South Pars oil layer will exceed 500,000 barrels per day of crude oil.

The development of the Iranian side of the oil layer has been frequently postponed. In its last announcement, Pars Oil and Gas Company had announced that crude extraction from the oil layer would begin in the summer of 2010. But production has not started yet.

The new contract aims to produce a daily total of 35,000 barrels of crude oil from Section A of the field in the first phase of its development.

South Pars gas and oil field covers an area of 9,700 square kilometers, 3,700 square kilometers of which are in Iranian territorial waters in the Persian Gulf. The remaining 6,000 square kilometers, i.e. North Dome, are in Qatari territorial waters.

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