(Tuesday, October 2, 2007) 15:39

Oil Discovery in Kouhdasht Block Confirmed

TEHRAN – The discovery of light and sweet oil in “Baba Habib” anticline of Kouhdasht block was confirmed, said the exploration manager of National Iranian Oil Co. (NIOC) Tuesday.

Seyed Mahmoud Mohaddes told reporters that supplementary seismographic operations were carried out in a 300 km span in Kouhdasht block and the seismographic result backed by previous data proved the existence of oil in “Baba Habib” anticline and the drilling operations started.

“Oil is flowing in this well and is categorized as quality sweet type,” said the official.

“The field is small and the project contractor, due to the span of exploration operations, received the permit to carry out seismographic operations in a larger area,” said Mohaddes, adding the area undergoing seismographic tests was increased to 600 km and the second well would be drilled in the region.

He expressed hope that oil and gas reserves would be discovered in the second well, bringing the deposits of Kouhdasht block to a considerable volume.

“China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC) is in charge of carrying out seismographic operations in Kouhdasht block,” said the NIOC official, adding Koudasht project was underway according to the timetable.

Studies carried out by the NIOC’s Exploration Department indicated that apart from 2.7 billion barrels increase in oil reserves of Anaran field, 1.6 billion barrels of in place oil reserves had been discovered in Paranj field in addition to 11.4 trillion cubic feet of in place natural gas reserves in Sefid Zakhor field.

Mohaddes said early projections had estimated gas reserves of Zakhor gas field at 1.5 trillion cu. ft. (TCF), adding, “After drilling, it was noticed that gas column was 800m in height and the amount of in place gas reserves was subsequently increased to 11.4 trillion cu. ft.

“Based on current forecasts, the amount of in place gas reserves will increase subsequent to further drilling in the field,” said the official.

He added that there were a number of exploration targets near Sefid Zakhor field, one of which is Halegan anticline (to the south of Sefid Zakhor) and drilling there would start after drilling in Sefid Zakhor.

Mohaddes said that Halegan was a big anticline and drilling there would begin in 2-3 weeks.

“According to early estimates, the field can produce more than 1.15 billion cu. ft. of gas per day and 17 more wells are needed to develop it,” he said.

Sefid Zakhor anticline is located in a mountainous area in Fars Province, about 30 km south of Qir city.

Two-dimensional seismography was carried out to gain full information on the field in 2003 and the information has been processed and interpreted.

To carry out drilling in this field, a drilling rig was installed at the location in the second half of 2005 and the first exploration well was drilled to a depth of 5,271 meters.

In place gas reserves of the field have been reported at 11.4 trillion cu. ft. while the amount of gas condensate has been estimated at 205 million barrels. Coefficients for gas and condensate production have been mentioned at 75 percent and 35 percent, respectively.

The Exploration manager added that the contract for developing Jofair oilfield at Bangestan layers had been signed with Belarus, adding, “During the past 3-4 years, studies have been planned to explore deeper layers of the field and 3-D seismography was being carried out to take advantage of resultant information for development of Bangestan layer and explore Khami layer.

Mohaddes said that Jofair oilfield was located close to Azadegan oilfield in the north of Darkhoein oilfield and decision about explorative drilling on Khami layer was taken when oil was discovered in Khami layer of Azadegan and Darkhoein oilfields.

He said drilling in Jofair oilfield had started since 1.5 months ago and out of 4,300m of projected drilling, about 1,480m had been accomplished.

He said that Paranj oilfield was located between Karanj and Parsi oilfields, adding that after 3-D seismological studies were carried out on Karanj and Parsi oilfields.

Mohaddes said the country had explored 72 billion barrels of in situ crude oil and 168 trillion cubic feet of gas in place between 1997 and 2006.

He told reporters the huge volume of energy carriers was explored as 16 oilfields and 14 gas fields were spotted.

“Of the explored reserve, totally 15 billion barrels of liquid hydrocarbon, including 12 billion barrels of crude oil, and 1.3 billion barrels of gas condensates, is extractable,” said the official.

“Out of 168 trillion cubic feet of gas in place, 104 trillion cubic feet, 70 percent, is derivable,” he added.

Mohaddes said extractable crude in the country exceeded 96 billion barrels in 1997 while the figure soared to over 137 billion barrels in 2006.

The exploratory affairs manager had already announced that the studies on 40 new sites were finalized and the company would increase its rigs to eight to explore the newly identified areas.

Mohaddes told PIN, “In line with the Fourth Five-Year Development Plan, 40 spots underwent tests and were identified and we are waiting for drilling platforms.

“To speed up the exploration drilling, we decided to increase the rigs from the current six to eight by the end of (Iranian) year (March 20, 2008).”

The official said the time of exploration activities in the 40 blocks would be reduced from 6-7 years to about four years when the company received the two new oil drilling rigs.

He added three rigs were now carrying out exploration drilling operations in Mehr, Kouhdasht, and Tossan blocks.

Mohaddes said the reserves of new gas field of southern Fars Province would be announced in the near future.

He added the newly explored field was undergoing the last stage of necessary test that would help determine its deposits.

The drilling operations of the field had ended, said the official, adding the field, located at the town of Qir, was rich in resources.

Mohaddes added the exploration operations in the new gas field had started since 18 months ago.

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