South Yaran is one of jointly owned oil fields in the West Karoun area in southwestern Iran. It has not been talked about too much. However, its development and operation are among priorities of the Iranian Ministry of Petroleum with regard to developing hydrocarbon fields shared with neighboring countries. North Yaran field has already started production and countdown has started for the development of the southern stretch of Yaran.
Yaran was divided into two sections, North and South, due to financial restrictions following the imposition of tough sanctions on Iran. North Yaran was awarded to Persia Oil and Gas Industries Development Company under a buyback deal in 2011. It recently became operational along with the first phase of North Azadegan and Yadavaran fields. However, pursuant to a decision by National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), the field was assigned for development to Petroleum Engineering and Development Company (PEDEC) in 2013. It is to be noted that PEDEC runs all fields located in West Karoun.
Primarily, the objective behind the development of South Yaran was to recover 50,000 to 60,000 b/d of oil and 60 mcm/d of gas after drilling 30 wells. The recovery rate was announced at 13.5%. However, Homayoun Kazemeini, who manages the development of South Yaran, said when PEDEC started developing this field it had no idea about its reservoir; therefore, an appraisal well, which was similar to exploration well, was first spudded. The data gathered from drilling in 2015 showed that the Fahlyan layer of South Yaran had no production capacity. Therefore, the target envisaged for production from South Yaran was reduced to 25,000 b/d.
Kazemeini said new data caused changes in the plans devised for the development of the field because all plans had been worked out for 50,000 to 60,000 b/d output. Now according to new data, 21,000 b/d is expected to be extracted from Sarvak layer and 4,000 b/d from Gadvan layer.
Kazemeini referred to the conclusion of operations for the drilling of 18 wells in South Yaran, saying the completion and installation of completion strings in 15 wells were over.
"At present, three drilling rigs are operating in the Yaran area and the drilling operations for the 18 wells are projected to be over" by March, he said.
He referred to financial shortages and absence of reservoir data as reasons for the delay in operating South Yaran. He added that financial restrictions were over and after drilling completion, early oil production from South Yaran would start with a capacity of 10,000 b/d.
Oil Layers' Reassessment
Kazemeini also referred to the new mission of PEDEC for the reassessment of oil layers, saying: "In order to assess the Ilam, Sarvak and Gadvan layers, two wells were drilled in the north of the field. After testing the wells, the production capacity of these layers would be reexamined."
Due to the location of this field in Hoor al-Azim Lagoon, all activities are done in compliance with standards set by the Department of the Environment and in coordination with relevant bodies in Dasht-e Azadegan and the provincial environmental protection agency in Khuzestan Province.
The wastes from drilling rigs has fallen to zero and regular monitoring of contactors, keeping the lagoon untouched, placing landfills outside the area of the lagoon, drawing up PMAs and installation of culverts are among other measures conducted for the protection of the environment in Hoor al-Azim. All surface and subsurface activities are also done based on standards.
West Karoun which includes North Azadegan, South Azadegan, North Yaran, South Yaran fields as well as Yadavaran fields is estimated to hold 67 billion barrels of oil in place. Iran shares oil fields with Iraq in this zone.
Iran's Ministry of Petroleum is determined to increase the production capacity of fields located in West Karoun. To that end, in new-style oil contracts, memorandums are signed with domestic and foreign companies for assessing oil fields and their recovery rate.
Iran was recovering 60,000 b/d of oil from the West Karoun fields until 2013. After the inauguration of the first phases of North Azadegan and Yadavaran oil fields and the development of North Yaran, the country is now extracting more than 260,000 b/d from these fields.
Nouroddin Shahnazizadeh, CEO of PEDEC, has stated that the company was planning to bring production from the West Karoun fields to 1.15 mb/d.
He said that full development of these oil fields would cost $25 billion by 2022. So far, $7 billion has been spent on these development projects.