Iran to expand exploration activities in Caspian Sea
By Sara Rajabova
Energy-rich Iran plans to expand its exploration activities in the Caspian Sea as part of state measures to discover new oil and gas fields.
Ali Osooli, managing director of Khazar Exploration and Production Company said expansion of exploration activities as well as attracting new investments are among the most important priorities of the company in the new Iranian year (starting March 21).
“Attracting new investments especially by companies specializing in deep water exploitation can lead to boost in exploration activities in the Caspian Sea and the littoral provinces,” Osooli said, Press TV reported.
Iran has discovered oil in its Caspian Sea waters for the first time in more than a century in 2012. Iran discovered a new oil layer with in-place reserves of two billion barrels in Sardar-e Jangal oil and gas field off the shore of the northern Iranian province of Gilan in the Caspian Sea which contains quality crude that is toxic hydrogen sulfide-free.
The deposit was found at a depth of 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles) during drilling on a natural-gas field and might contain 10 billion barrels of crude that is equal to seven percent of Iran’s known reserves, according to the reports.
Earlier, Rokneddin Javadi, Iranian deputy petroleum minister said Iran plans to conduct deepwater drilling in the Caspian Sea and the Sea of Oman in the coming years in order to raise its oil and gas production.
The Caspian Sea is rich in hydrocarbon resources and the littoral states of the sea have made great investment in developing oil fields in the region over the past years.
Iran’s Petroleum Ministry has in recent years attached special significance to the development of oil fields in the Caspian Sea.
Preliminary evaluations showed that Sardar-e Jangal field would produce some 8,000 barrels of oil per day and its gas reserves were estimated at 50 billion cubic feet - a quantity equivalent to Iran's total gas consumption over a 10-year period.
Iran is the second-largest oil producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, the country’s most existing fields are in the south and the Persian Gulf.
The country had to rely on its own technology for exploration and production in after the international oil and gas companies such as Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Total SA have exited Iran to comply with U.S. sanctions over its nuclear program.
Sara Rajabova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on
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