Saturday, April 16, 2005

Shell to Open Iran's Soroush Field in Weeks
Royal Dutch Shell Group (RD SC) has pumped oil into a new platform and facilities in Iran's offshore Soroush field in preparation for commissioning of the field, the weekly Middle East Economic Survey reports in its Monday edition. MEES said commissioning operations were previously postponed after problems with a pressure vessel. READ MORE

The reintroduction of hydrocarbons is the first step in a process which is expected to see production raised to full capacity of 190,000 barrels a day from Soroush and the nearby Nowruz field over the next few weeks, the report said. Both fields are being developed by a Shell-led consortium.

The $800 million combined project involved the installation of three new platforms and the refurbishment of four platforms damaged in the Iran-Iraq war of 1980-88. Shell had been delivering 60,000 b/d of oil from Soroush through an early production system on a jack-up rig, but in the build-up to the transfer to platform-based production, a pressure vessel was discovered to be faulty and had to be replaced, MEES said. After the completion of the Soroush project, Iran's spare oil capacity will rise further. Iran, the second-largest producer among the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries after Saudi Arabia, currently has an output capacity of around 4.1 million b/d and is pumping close to that figure.