Iran is to bring on line an oilfield developed by local companies in the very near future, a sign that development work in the country’s petroleum sector has continued in recent years despite US sanctions targeting its crude sales.
Local news agencies said in reports published on Wednesday that the Khesht Oilfield, located in westernmost part of Iran’s southern province of Fars, will start early production of 20,000 barrels per day (bpd) within the next few months.
A contractor assigned by the Oil Ministry for development works at the field said that the project was 99% complete and early production would start if the government provides the cash needed to finish the works.
Ehsan Taheri said works remaining to be completed in the field include finishing installation of wellhead equipment at a third and final oil well.
Khesht Oilfield contains over one billion barrels of oil, according to estimates provided by the iranian Oil Ministry.
Exploration work in the field started in 1992 but development stalled for years due to financial and technological issues.
Iran has tapped local companies in recent years to build out oil and gas fields where international companies had abandoned work under American pressure.
Early production from Khesht Oilfield comes as Iran has seen its exports of crude lowered to below 1 million bpd as a result of American sanctions enacted since mid-2018.
International estimates suggest that Iran’s crude output has continued to grow in recent months to above 2.6 million bpd as the country finds ways to get round the US sanctions and supply oil to Asian customers.
Experts believe the country will significantly increase its output and exports of crude if it can reach an agreement with world powers to revive a 2015 international deal on its nuclear program.