Iran opens offshore fields to outsiders

Offshore staff

TEHRAN, Iran – The Iranian government is opening 18 offshore projects to international oil and gas companies and a similar number of exploration blocks.

At the Tehran IPC Conference, the Ministry of Petroleum also confirmed the terms for the new Iran Petroleum Contract (IPC).

Under the new framework, National Iranian Oil Co. (NIOC) will establish joint ventures for crude oil and gas production with international companies which will be paid with a share of the output.

This replaces the previous system of buyback deals, under which the government paid the contractor (oil company) an agreed price for the entire volumes of hydrocarbons the contractor produced.

According to news service Shana, Pars Oil and Gas Co. (POGC) is opening four of its offshore fields to international involvement: North Pars, Golshan, Ferdows, and the South Pars oil layer.

POGC currently produces more than 400 MMcm/d (14 bcf/d) of natural gas from the fields but is seeking to double output.

Ehsan Mohammadi, a POGC official, said the company needs $64 billion to attain its production goals. 

The South Pars oil layer is thought to contain 1.5-4 Bbbl in place, with a projected recovery rate of nearly 21%, Mohammadi said. 

Pre-startup of the first oil layer platform is 90% complete: it will have a capacity to process 35,000 b/d of crude oil.

However, Iran does not plan to offer the Phase 11 development of the South Pars gas field under its new contract model (IPC), Shana reported.

This phase is being developed to recover 56 MMcm/d (2 bcf/d) of sour gas for use as LNG, and 80,000 b/d of gas condensate. 

Development of the upstream section of Phase 11 was originally awarded in 2000 to Total and Petronas. After work on the project stalled, NIOC re-offered the project to Chinese contractor CNPC in 2009, although this contract too was eventually canceled.

Instead, NIOC opted to assign development to an Iranian contractor, with the gas to be processed by refineries at the Pars Special Economic Energy Zone.


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