Total earlier this year confirmed that it is in negotiations with Tehran over its participation in the Sirri C and D field developments (see related story, p. 29).
The company also recently reported that Sirri E is producing about 50,000 b/d and is expected to build to about 100,000 b/d after a second wellhead platform is installed. It started up Sirri E at the end of January and Sirri A in October 1998. Sirri A is producing 20,000 b/d. The combined plateau output of 120,000 b/d is expected in 2001.
Meanwhile, Total is continuing negotiations with the Dubai government to lay a gas pipeline from the Sirri development to the emirate. The pipeline would transport Sirri associated gas from the Sirri complex to Dugas, on Dubai's coast, for further shipment to the Jebel A* industrial zone for treating and processing for use by industrial facilities envisioned in Dubai. The emirate currently is seeking about 900 MMcfd of gas for its industrial development plans; Qatar, Oman, and Abu Dhabi are also on the list of potential suppliers.
Sirri development schemeWithin the Sirri development scheme, which will cost $145 million for A and $465 million for E, all the wells are extended-reach, with horizontal displacements of 1,000-2,000 m and the longest horizontal well reaching a measured depth of 5,300 m.
The use of extended-reach wells allowed a reduction to 29 wells from the original plan that provided for 47, without incurring added costs. The production scheme takes into account that Sirri E is a Middle Cretaceous Mishrif reservoir at 3,000 m, with an estimated original oil in place (OOIP) of 1.6 billion bbl, medium permeability, and a thick layer of salt overlaying a high-pressure zone at a depth of 1,000-1,800 m.
Sirri A is a Middle Cretaceous Ilam reservoir at 2,000 m that is very heterogeneous, with OOIP of 1.8 billion bbl and poor permeability. Production involves injection of water under a radial scheme alternating 14 producers and 15 seawater injectors.
Offshore installations consist of three wellhead platforms, WPE-1, WPE-2, and WPE-3; a production platform (PPE) bridge-linked to WPE-1 and a flare; subsea pipelines for effluent and water injection and electric cables between WPE-2, WPE-3, and PPE; and subsea pipelines for oil, gas, and water injection and electric cables between PPE and Sirri Island (see chart, p. 30).
To the existing onshore installations on Sirri Island-separation, storage, and export facilities installed by France's Elf Aquitaine in 1976 when it was tapped to develop Sirri-will be added a 50,000 b/d separation train, 160,000 b/d water injection system, 10-MW power station, and high-pressure flare and utilities.
On arid Sirri Island, NIOC has a work force of 800, while Total's numbers 500.
Sirri prospectsTotal Sirri Manager Dominique Barthe said that he is aiming "for greater development for NIOC's better future." He believes Sirri can double its plateau production and hopes Total can remain on the job as technical adviser. Meanwhile, as provided in the initial contract, the share of partner Petronas has now increased to 40% from 30%.
Obtaining the C and D offshore fields makes sense for Total, as it could use the field knowledge it has acquired in developing Sirri A and E and the related installations. Barthe believes Total can bring C and D production to 75,000 b/d from the current 28,000 b/d. Sirri A, C, D, and E would then produce 200,000 b/d, equivalent to almost 5% of Iran's current oil production.
But while Iran's Petroleum Minister Bijan Zanganeh congratulated "Total and its experts for the Sirri development," he has given no inkling as yet on whether Total has an edge on the competition for further Sirri work.
Whatever the outcome, Christophe de Margerie, vice-president of Total Middle East, would like other companies, in particular Petronas or a Japanese company, to participate in its new projects in Iran. But Total's interest in Iran has its limits. Total CEO and Pres. Thierry Desmarest told a shareholders meeting in January, "There is much to do in Iran, and we intend to take our share, but all the while paying attention to the level of our overall financial exposure, as we do in other countries."
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