TEHRAN (AFP) -Iran will miss its 2010 crude oil production target by 500,000 million barrels per day (bpd) owing to a lack of investment in ageing oil fields.
Crude oil production could reach 4.5 million bpd by the end of the state’s fourth five-year development plan (2005-2010), well under the original production target of 5.0 million bpd, National Iranian Oil Company managing director Gholam Hossein Nozari said Tuesday.
“We are not close to the 5.0 million bpd target of the fourth plan. More than 80 percent of the current total oil output is being provided from aged oil fields that need serious investment to increase production,” he said.
He put the countrys current oil production at 4.08 million bpd, which is 30,000 less than its OPEC quota.
The main challenge of OPEC number two oil producer, Nozari said, was “maintenance of oil reservoirs or increasing the recovery rate”.
He announced that the country would soon put out tenders for exploration-development packages of 24 oil blocks.
Major development plans of oil fields that need substantial foreign investment have been held up by protracted negotiations between Iran and foreign investors over disputes on the rising costs of upstream operations.
Another problem stems from the standoff over Irans controversial nuclear plan, as the country refuses to comply with Western demands to suspend uranium enrichment.
The UN Security Council powers has given a August 31 deadline to Iran to halt sensitive atomic work or risk economic sanctions.
Nozari, however, stressed that the oil ministry was ready to deal with any UN Security Council sanctions.
“In case of any sanctions against the country, the oil ministry will be in the frontline and we have prepared for serious work in this regard,” Nozari assured.