TEHRAN, May 2 (UPI) -- Iran said Friday it could get about 30,000 barrels of oil per day during the initial phase of operations at the Azar oil field straddling the border with Iraq.
Iran said operations on its side of the border will begin during the first half of the next Iranian calendar year, which begins in March. The field will be developed by an Iranian consortium and produce about 30,000 bpd during the initial phase and eventually reach 65,000 bpd.
The field is known as Badra on the Iraqi side of the border. Russian energy company Gazprom Neft serves as the operator there, where it's working under the terms of a 2009 agreement with the Iraqi government. The Russian company estimates total field capacity in Iraq could reach 170,000 bpd.
Iran estimates the total recoverable reserve capacity at 400 million barrels of oil.
The development follows an Iranian decision to suspend a contract with China National Petroleum Co. to help operate the Azadegan oil field, which also straddles the Iraqi border.
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said CNPC was dragging its feet at a field with estimated reserves of more than 40 billion barrels of oil.