Iran prioritizes development of shared oil fields

Oil production started for Iran in the South Pars field in the Persian Gulf earlier this year using a floating facility.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |   June 12, 2017 at 9:18 AM
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June 12 (UPI) -- Tapping into the oil reservoirs straddling Iran's land and maritime borders are among the top priorities for the year, a deputy minister said.

Ali Kardar, the deputy petroleum minister, said neighboring Iraq and Qatar have extracted oil and gas reserves with the help of multinational energy companies and Iran is looking to replicate that success.

Iran shares borders with Iraq in the Azadegan oil field and with Qatar in the South Pars oil and gas complex in the Persian Gulf.

"The fields are on priority list and the Ministry of Petroleum emphasizes their development," the deputy minister told the official Islamic Republic News Agency.

Highlighting the Azadegan prospect has been commonplace for Iran as it looks to draw new investors to a post-sanctions business environment in Iran. The government estimates the field holds around 6 billion barrels of recoverable oil reserves. Past contracts with China National Petroleum Corp. were torn up because the Chinese side wasn't meeting Iran's expectations.

Iran pulled oil from the South Pars field, which Qatar dubbed North Dome, for the first time in March. Through the use of a floating production platform, the government said peak capacity would be in the range of 35,000 barrels of oil per day.

Royal Dutch Shell was among the first companies to buy Iranian crude oil in the era that followed the signing of a multilateral agreement that brought sanctions relief to Iran in exchange for agreements to scale back its controversial nuclear research program. Iranian officials are in Oslo this week to attend an international peace summit, though official media offered no indication that delegates were scheduling visits with Norwegian energy representatives.

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