0721 GMT February 20, 2020
Iran sits on the world's largest hydrocarbon reserves holding 9.3 percent and 18.2 percent of the global oil and gas resources, respectively.
Latest figures indicate that Iran is home to 650 billion barrels of in situ oil reserves, of which 156 billion barrels are extractable [given the domestic oil industry's current recovery efficiency of 24-percent].
In case the efficiency ratio remains stable, Iran will fail to deplete 494 billion barrels of the underground reserves whereas, at present, the average global figure stands at 35 percent. Some of the leading international companies even aim to increase the ratio to 70 percent.
Undoubtedly, Iran would be able to attain the international average using modern technologies, drawing up a strategic plan and employing modern techniques to boost recovery efficiency.
To optimize oil output, the Oil Ministry is required to implement enhanced oil recovery techniques. This is because a large number of the oilfields are in the second half of their production life and have already undergone the initial extraction stages and are about to enter the secondary production stages. Hydrocarbon reserves are among the most important national assets.
Employing such techniques involves four main steps: Appraising the reserve and conducting integrative studies, developing scientific modeling of the reserve and simulating its functions, carrying out feasibility studies and finally designing the final plan and performing the pilot study.
The Research Institute of Petroleum Industry is among the pioneers of employing enhanced oil recovery techniques in Iran. It has conducted feasibility as well as integrative studies in more than 20 Iranian oilfields including Ahvaz, Maroun, Bibi Hakimeh, Azadegan, Yadavaran and South Pars.
The institute has also conducted the first pilot study of using enhanced oil recovery techniques in Yadavaran oilfield. The Oil Ministry's new approach, i.e. promoting research-oriented development of the fields, is aimed at boosting the recovery efficiency of the fields, optimizing oil extraction and reducing the costs of the operations involved in crude production.
To achieve the abovementioned objectives the Oil Ministry is required to provide fast and easy access to reserves' information, reports and models, select suitable techniques based on the outcomes of the lab and field studies, employ valid technologies in line with the conditions of the reserves, update technologies and techniques, implement the techniques in cooperation with domestic and foreign consultation firms and under the supervision of National Iranian Oil Company.
Having outlined the challenges and identified the required methods and technologies, leading international oil companies draw a comprehensive technological roadmap to achieve their strategic goals.
This is the path domestic oil industry is required to go along to encourage the use of modern technologies in oil extraction activities and maximize oil production.