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Iran Touts Oil & Gas Well Drilling Since Start of Persian New Year

By Orkhan Jalilov December 31, 2020

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The National Iranian Drilling Company has completed drilling operations on 88 oil and gas wells in the past 9 months of this year. / Shana.ir

Despite tough sanctions imposed on its oil and gas industries, Iran is working hard to develop its hydrocarbon deposits, having completed drilling operations on 88 oil and gas wells over the last nine months, or since the start of the Persian New Year in late March.

Drilling specialists from the National Iranian Drilling Company (NIDC) were responsible for the efforts, which included on- and off-shore wells. An exploration well, 26 development wells, seven appraisal wells and 54 workover projects were all completed. During the period, 119,438 meters were drilled by NIDC rigs.

NIDC’s deputy director, Mohammad Ale-Khamis, said that the digging of 64 wells were ordered by the National Iranian South Oil Company and 12 others were drilled in offshore fields operated by the Iranian Offshore Oil Company.

The state-owned National Iranian Drilling Company is responsible for drilling rigs operated by the National Iranian South Oil Company, Petroleum Engineering and Development Company, the Iranian Offshore Oil Company and Iranian Central Oil Fields Company.

Meanwhile, natural gas extraction operation from Platform 14B of the offshore South Pars gas field of Iran in the Persian Gulf, started on December 26. In 2017, President Hassan Rouhani inaugurated the South Pars Phases 17, 18, 19, 20 and 21. The giant reservoir is being developed in 24 phases.

Platform 14B was developed to produce 14.2 million cubic meters per day of natural gas from Phase 14 of the supergiant gas field. In addition, daily production of 20,000 barrels of gas condensate and 100 tons of sulfur, as well as 250,000 tons of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and 250,000 tons of ethane per year, is expected once the platform is operating at maximum capacity.

The South Pars field is the world's largest gas field, covering 3,700 square kilometers of Iran's territorial waters in the Persian Gulf. The field is shared with Qatar.

In October, Iranian officials announced the discovery of a natural gas field with about $40 billion worth of condensed gas. The deposit holds about 385 million barrels of fuel. Called the Eram National Gas Field, it lies approximately 124 miles south of the southern Iranian city of Shiraz and is thought to hold up to 19 trillion cubic feet of gas.

Following the unilateral withdrawal in May 2018 from the Iranian nuclear deal, brokered under the Obama administration in 2015, the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump imposed new sanctions against Iran, vowing to reduce Iran’s oil exports to zero. Dozens of foreign companies suspended investments in the Iranian oil and gas industries as a result of weakened confidence in doing business in Iran.

Iran wants to export a minimum of 700,000 barrels per day (bpd) of its oil, and ideally up to 1.5 million bpd if the deal can be saved.

“Despite America’s pressure … and its imposed sanctions on our oil exports, we still continue to sell our oil by using other means … when even friendly countries have stopped purchasing our crude fearing America’s penalties,” Iran’s Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri said on December 2, according to Reuters.