Iran Starts Oil Production in Azadegan Field

A0112886.jpgTEHRAN (FNA) – Iran has started pumping oil from its biggest onshore oilfield of Azadegan in the southwest of the country, a project that was originally to be developed with a Japanese partner.

“As of now, 20,000 barrels of light and heavy crude oil are being produced daily,” Seyfollah Jashn-Saz, director of Iran’s southern oil operations, told state television.

Azadegan, which has some 42 bln barrels of oil, was initially to have been developed with Japanese firm Inpex but the company effectively pulled out at the end of 2006 amid US pressures to cut business ties with Iran.

The development of the field was then offered to Petroiran, a company controlled by the oil ministry. The coming on stream of the field had been expected, specially since two weeks ago.

Pressure falls in oil wells have also prevented Iran from increasing production to its medium-term target of 5 mln bpd.

Oil minister Gholam Hossein Nozari has said Iran is seeking to produce 4.2 mln barrels per day by the end of the current Iranian year on March 19.

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