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Iran has announced the launch of production at the North Yaran field, which it shares with Iraq, after years of delay. The development manager of the field, Arash Baqerzadeh, said that initial output will be 30,000 bpd.
The North Yaran field is one of five that Iran shares with Iraq. These fields have taken priority for Tehran in a bid to get what’s left in them after years of exploitation, according to Iran’s Press TV.
One of the five fields is the Azadegan, which is estimated to be the third-largest in the world, holding about 6 billion barrels of recoverable crude oil. French Total earlier this year signed a confidentiality agreement with Iran to develop the South Azadegan field, which holds around 2 billion barrels of recoverable oil.
According to a report by Azerbaijan’s Trend news agency from August, the combined output from North and South Yaran, North and South Azadegan, and Yadavaran – the five fields along the Iran-Iraq border – would reach 700,000 bpd over the next two years.
At the time, the two operating fields, Yadavaran and North Azadegan, yielded 175,000 bpd. The combined reserves of the five fields are estimated at 64 billion barrels of crude.
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Iran, which is looking at an exemption from OPEC’s production cut negotiations because of market share loss during the four years when sanctions were in effect, at the moment pumps around 4 million barrels of oil daily, with exports at 2.4 million bpd, as of end-October.
However, the country has made it abundantly clear it is eager to use the help of international oil companies to raise production and exports further, and fast. The latest news in this respect was the contract Tehran signed with Total for the development of the huge South Pars gas field.
Total is the first Western energy company to seal a deal with Iran after the sanctions. Earlier this year, Italian Eni and BP said that they needed more information about the contractual terms for developing Iran’s oil and gas reserves before they made an investment decision.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for the U.S.-based Divergente LLC consulting firm with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.