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Iran to hold tender for development of 16 oil blocs


Iran is planning to hold a tender for the development of 16 oil blocs by the end of the current Iranian calendar year of 1382 (ending March 19, 2004), the press on Monday quoted an oil official as saying, IRNA reported from Tehran.

The Persian-language newspaper 'Qods' quoted Eskandar Bavarian, an advisor to the managing director of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), as saying that Iran has devised detailed programs for the development of 51 oil and gas blocs.

Bavarian added that Iran has so far signed contracts for the development of 10 blocs.

He said there are 59 oil fields and 18 gas fields from a total of 77 fields that are currently active in the country, adding that Iran has so far added as much as 21 billion barrels of oil to its reserves through increasing the recovery factor.


Elsewhere in his remarks, the NIOC top advisor said the recent seismological studies show that Iran's oil reserves in the Iranian part of the Caspian Sea has been estimated at 32.7 billion barrels. Still, he added, Iran needs to promote its exploration activities in those areas for arriving at a more precise account on the capacity of the reserves.

Bavarian further added that the recovery factor from Iran's total oil reserves of 130 billion barrels will increase to 30 percent from the prevailing 26.5 percent by the end of the Fourth Development Plan (2005-2010).

He said injecting gas-water mixture will increase the production of Iran's oil fields by 80 percent, stressing however that other methods including injection of chemicals into the fields are not currently economical for Iran.

Bavarian called gas injection as the best choice for Iran to boost recovery, stressing that this method can help Iran recover from five to 40 percent of the reserves of its oil fields.

He also said that increasing Iran's recoverable reserves depends on increasing the recovery factor by 80 percent.

Iran to develop 7 major joint oil fields

Iran is considering to leave the development and exploitation of seven oil fields it jointly shares with its neighbors, particularly with Iraq, to international corporations through negotiations or "limited tenders", the press reported in Tehran on Monday.

The Persian-language newspaper 'Iran' quoted an informed source as saying that the oil fields include Hosseiniyeh, Koushk, Northern and Southern Azadegan, Khojeir, Cheshmeh Khosh and Bangestan, adding that their development deals will be done through buyback contracts. The source added that Iran will hold talks with maximum three oil enterprises in that connection.

Iran currently shares 11 oil and gas fields with its neighbors some of which have already been developed and some are under development. One of those fields, called Arash with an estimated reserve of 754 million barrels of oil, is jointly shared by Iran, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia.

The Monday report of 'Iran' follows its yesterday highlights of the comments by Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh who strongly criticized Saudi Arabia and Kuwait for their reported activities to develop the Arash oil field, stressing that any measure to that effect must be stopped.

Zanganeh had asked the Foreign Ministry to follow up the issue and see to it that any development in that connection is halted. "The activities of these two countries without Iran's presence is meaningless and must be stopped immediately," he said. "Therefore, the Oil Ministry demands the Foreign Ministry to tackle the issue, and prevent any further measure (over the development of the Arash field)."

Certain Iranian journals on Saturday quoted a report from the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) saying that Kuwaiti and Saudi oil ministers were considering to start talks on development of the Arash field within the next 10 days.

KUNA had highlighted remarks by Kuwait's Oil Minister Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad that he would soon meet his Saudi counterpart, and that the development of the Arash field would top the agenda of their talks.

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