Sitting atop 18% of the world"s proven gas reserves, Iran ranks the first in terms of holding natural gas in the world. Owing to development of gas fields in recent years, Iran"s average gas production has reached 800 mcm/d, 600 mcm/d of which is consumed domestically.
The annually growing domestic consumption of natural gas and Iran"s obligation to pump gas to neighboring countries including Iraq and Turkey have prompted Iran"s Ministry of Petroleum to prioritize enhancing its gas production capacity.
The Iranian Central Oil Fields Company (ICOFC), which administers development of 10 gas fields in Iran, supplies more than 35% of Iran"s gas. Therefore, development of ICOFC-run gas fields is of prime significance for the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC).
ICOFC recently introduced opportunities for investment under the newly developed IPC format. Phase 2 of Aghar gas field is one of these lucrative projects for foreign investment.
Located 110 kilometers southeast of the southern city of Shiraz in Fars Province, the Aghar gas field was discovered in 1972. Thirteen of a total 16 wells drilled in this field are producing gas. Production of gas started there in 1998. Natural gas and gas condensate produced from Aghar are transmitted via two separate pipelines, measuring 90 kilometers each, to the Farashband gas refinery for treatment. This job is handled by the Zagros Oil and Gas Production Company (ZOGPC), an offshoot of ICOFC.
Since the Aghar field is among big fields after Kangan among those run by ZOGPC, Gholam-Hossein Montazeri, CEO of ZOGPC has said that development of Phase 2 of the Aghar gas field was on the agenda for increased production. That would help double the Aghar output to 40 mcm/d. Meanwhile, facilities will be established near the Farashband gas refinery in order to handle the processing of more gas.
The Aghar gas is planned to be injected into oil fields located in southern Iran, particularly Maroun. Aghar is equipped with wellhead installations, four gas gathering centers and a stream pipe which would take gas to the Farashband refinery. A gathering and separation center is also available, containing slug catcher, two-phase and three-phase separators, control room, pumping station and pig launcher and receiver.
The Aghar gas field"s production capacity amounts to 95.22 mcm/d of natural gas and 4,300 b/d of condensate.
The Aghar gas field"s feasibility study has been completed after four years, during which the previous study models have been updated, new data has been included, petrophysical logs have been interpreted and assessed, and fractures have been modelled.
The findings of studies indicate a 40% increase in the in-place gas reserves of Aghjar with a recovery rate of more than 71%. In the natural depletion scenario, due to wellhead pressure restrictions, the final recovery will be maintained at 34.7% with a production ceiling of 22 mcm/d up to 2023, when the installation of a compressor would bring the recovery rate to 71.5%.
Drilling to maintain the production ceiling and boost recovery, conducing periodical static tests, appraisal drilling, phasic increase in the PGC production of the gas field up to 30 mcm/d and optimization scenario following installation of compressor, as well as spudding six new wells to raise output to 30 mcm/d are among plans envisaged in the new studies.