Iran says it will start pumping oil from a key oilfield that straddles the maritime border with Saudi Arabia in the Persian Gulf within the next three years.
An Iranian Oil Ministry official said on Saturday that a contract will be awarded for the first phase in development works at Esfandiar oilfield, which is connected to Saudi Arabia’s Lulu oilfield, in the very near future.
Alireza Mehdizadeh, who leads the Iranian Offshore Oil Company, said that a drilling rig and four production wells have been planned for the first phase of development project in Esfandiar which is located 95 kilometers to the southwest of the Iranian island of Kharg and is estimated to have more than 500 million barrels of oil.
“The fluid mixture produced in the oilfield will be processed in the nearby Abuzar oilfield before it is transferred to the Kharg Island,” Mehdizadeh was quoted as saying by the Oil Ministry's news service Shana.
He said Iran also plans to drill an exploration well in Esfandiar to obtain more information about the structure of the oil reservoir and to have a better analysis of the next phases of the development project in the field.
Iran has mobilized its domestic resources to develop oilfields that are shared with neighboring countries as restrictions imposed on the country’s petroleum sector because of American sanctions have dissuaded foreign firms from investing in major oil and gas projects.
The Iranian Oil Ministry announced in March that it will start drilling at a disputed gas field that is shared with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait after the two Arab countries said they had reached an agreement to build out the field.