- By OilGasArticles Editor
- Published 04/20/2007
- Business and Investment , Exploration and Discoveries , Offshore Drilling , Oil Field Development , Gulf of Mexico , Middle East Oil Field Development , North Sea Oil Field Development , West of Africa , Oil Gas Companies , Subsea Oil Production , Technology and Engineering
The subsea segment of the oil and gas industry is the by far the fastest growing industry in the world today. The global turnover is expected to grow by 30% from today towards 2011. This creates opportunites for companies that are not part of this booming oil anmd gas industry today..
Aside from acting as a transit center for other countries' oil and natural gas exports from the Caspian Sea, Iran has potentially significant Caspian reserves of its own, although only a small amount (0.1 billion barrels) has been proven as "recoverable." Currently, Iran has no oil or natural gas production in the Caspian region. In early 2004, a 3-D seismic survey of the southern Caspian was being conducted by Iran's Oil Survey Co.
The Doroud 1&2, Salman, Abuzar, Foroozan, and Sirri fields comprise the bulk of Iran's offshore oil output. Iran plans extensive development of existing offshore fields and hopes to raise its offshore production capacity significantly. In early October 2003, Iran re-launched a tender for eight exploration blocks in the Persian Gulf after receiving little interest from a January 2003 announcement (Iran may launch a second licensing round in the next few months).
The Iranian constitution prohibits the granting of petroleum rights on a concessionary basis or direct equity stake. However, the 1987 Petroleum Law permits the establishment of contracts between the Ministry of Petroleum, state companies and "local and foreign national persons and legal entities." Buyback contracts, for instance, are arrangements in which the contractor funds all investments, receives remuneration from NIOC in the form of an allocated production share, then transfers operation of the field to NIOC after the contract is completed.
With sufficient investment, it is widely believed that Iran could increase its crude oil production capacity significantly. Iran produced 6 million bbl/d of crude oil in 1974, has not come close to recovering to that level since he 1978/79 Iranian revolution. Still, Iran has ambitious plans to increase national oil production - to more than 5 million bbl/d by 2010, and 8 million bbl/d by 2015.
Since August 1996, the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA) has imposed mandatory and discretionary sanctions on non-U.S. companies that invest more than $20 million annually (lowered in August 1997 from $40 million) in the Iranian oil and natural gas sectors. On August 3, 2001, President Bush signed into law the ILSA Extension Act of 2001
Iraq's southern oil industry was decimated in the 1990/1991 Gulf War, with production capacity falling to 75,000 bbl/d in mid-1991. That war resulted in destruction of gathering centers and compression/degassing stations at Rumaila, storage facilities, the 1.6-million bbl/d (nameplate capacity) Mina al-Bakr/Basra export terminal, and pumping stations along the 1.4-million bbl/d (pre-war capacity) Iraqi Strategic (North-South) Pipeline
Main sources of Iraqi associated natural gas are the Kirkuk, Ain Zalah, Butma, and Bay Hassan oil fields in northern Iraq, as well as the North and South Rumaila and Zubair fields in the south. The Southern Area Gas Project was completed in 1985, but was not brought online until February 1990. It has nine gathering stations and a larger processing capacity of 1.5 billion cubic feet per day.
According to the Oil and Gas Journal, Iraq's refining capacity was 597,500 bbl/d as of January 1, 2005, compared to a nameplate capacity of 700,000 bbl/d. Overall, Iraq has eight refineries, none of which were damaged during the March-April 2003 war itself. The three largest refineries are the 310,000-bbl/d Baiji, 150,000-bbl/d Basra, and 110,000-bbl/d Daura plants.
In the Persian Gulf, Iraq has three tanker terminals: Basra port (formerly known as Mina al-Bakr), Khor al-Amaya, and Khor az-Zubair (which mainly handles dry goods and minimal oil volumes, plus natural gas liquids and liquefied petroleum gas). Basra is Iraq's largest oil terminal, with two pipelines (48-inch and 41-inch), plus four 400,000-bbl/d capacity berths capable of handling very large crude carriers (VLCCs).