March 15, 2018

Kayvan Yar-Ahmadi, manager of Azar development project, says completion of newly drilled wells in this field will bring production to 60,000 b/d this March. He says the output is expected to reach 65,000 b/d later this year, as the second train of processing installations become operational. Meantime, second phase development of this field is under study to be awarded within the framework of the newly developed IPC contract to foreign bidders.
Azar is shared with neighboring Iraq, where it is known as Badra. It is located 20 kilometers from the city of Mehran in Ilam Province in Anaran exploration block which also englobes Changouleh and Timab fields. The exploration of Anaran block was assigned by the Exploration Directorate of National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) in late 1990s to North Hydro of Norway. According to a report drafted in 2006, the Azar field was declared commercial. Negotiations lasted for one year with the Norwegian company, but they failed due to Iran’s international conditions. Then, NIOC started preparing necessary infrastructure for the development of this field in 2008.
In the meantime, talks with Russia’s Gazprom Neft and Malaysia’s Petronas failed too, due to sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic. In 2010, negotiations got under way with the Oil Industries Engineering and Construction (OIEC) and Oil Industry Pension Fund Investment Company (OPIC) for the development of Azar. Finally, a buyback agreement was signed for the Azar development. Early production started from this field in March 2017 at the rate of 15,000 b/d. The field output reached 30,000 b/d last May.
Yar-Ahmadi said drilling started in Azar field in 2015, adding that the field is geologically tight and challenging. “Due to condensed reservoir rock, it could be described as the tightest oil field in Iran. On average, drilling each well lasts 500 days, which would be halved thanks to the application of state-of-the-art technologies like acid stimulation of wells, and horizontal and directional drilling,” he said. “Therefore, one of our requirements for domestic and foreign companies willing to develop Phase 2 of Azar field, would be to reduce drilling time by using cutting edge technologies.” (Source: NIOC – Image: Drilling in AZAR field/Iran Daily)