In the last few years, especially after the implementation of the nuclear deal (known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Actions or JCPOA), Iran’s oil industry has been strongly focused on developing joint oil and gas fields, aiming to increase the seven-percent share of such fields in the country’s oil production.
In this regard, West Karoun oilfields which Iran shares with Iraq at the western part of Iran’s southwestern region of Karoun, have been prioritized among the country’s top development projects.
After the implementation of JCPOA in January 2016, Iranian oil industry once again broke free from the shackles of pressure which held it back from its full potential since January 2012, in which the EU agreed to an oil embargo on the country.
Immediately after the removal of the sanctions, Iranian government put it on the short term agenda to hastily increase its oil production to reclaim its oil market share lost to the fellow OPEC members due to the restrictions imposed by the West.
In doing so, plans were made for continuous increase in the country’s oil output and also development of new fields.
Following the new policies for attracting foreign investors to develop the country’s fields, in 2016, Iran introduced the Iran Petroleum Contract (IPC), which replaced the old buyback model.
Shortly after, National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) announced that the company is in serious talks with potential foreign suitors in order to hold tenders to hand out the development projects mostly for shared fields.
According to the oil ministry’s planning, West Karoun region which includes five major fields namely North Azadegan, South Azadegan, North Yaran, South Yaran and Yadavaran, was introduced as the main candidate for the new IPC tenders.
According to the managing director of Petroleum Engineering and Development Company (PEDEC), the oil ministry targeted an output of 700,000 barrels per day (bpd) for this region, by the end of the Iranian calendar year of 1397 (March 2019).
However, the initial enthusiasm did not lead to any entrust and since mid-2016 which IPC was introduced, still no tender has been held.
Although NIOC have repeatedly said in 2017 that international energy companies including France’s Total, Malaysia’s Petronas and Japan’s Inpex are eager for the development of the Azadegan field, the tender has been postponed several times for unspecified reasons.
West Karoun holds great importance for the country’s oil industry since according to the latest studies, its in-situ deposit is estimated to be 67 billion barrels containing both light and heavy crude oils, and therefore it could have a big impact on Iran’s oil output increases in the future.
With the fields fully operational, their output could add 1.2 million bpd to the country’s oil production capacity.
The complete development of the West Karun oilfields will require about $25 billion of investment, of which only about $7 billion has been funded and spent in implementation and development plans so far.
Considering the fact that West Karoun fields are still young, pristine and untapped reservoirs (also called green fields), the government should increase the efforts to attract the necessary investment for developing these fields.
Since most of the country’s already active fields are old and obviously with aging, the recovery factor decreases resulting in a lower production rate, increasing production level requires either new technologies to keep the recovery factor from falling or new fields coming on stream.
So, again considering the issues regarding banking relations, entering new technologies would be rather a challenge for the oil ministry, thus as it is already prioritized, young and untapped oilfields should be given extra attention in the ministry’s future planning to increase oil output.
Having an estimated 67 billion barrels of in-situ oil, West Karoun fields definitely deserve the spotlight which has been put on them recently.
Hopefully, in the new Iranian fiscal (which starts on March 21), the tender for development of the Azadegan oilfield, which is the first of its kind, won’t get postponed any further and the 10 IPC deals which were promised by the oil minister to be signed by March 2018 will go through by the yearend.
First published in our partner Tehran Times
Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions through Energy Efficiency – and Learning from One’s Peers
China, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Pakistan, and Vietnam are critical for global climate action. Why? Among other reasons, because three-fourths of all new coal-fired power plants to begin operations before 2020 globally will be in these six Asian countries. Fostering more energy efficiency will be imperative in the countries’ efforts to adopt a low carbon energy path.
One initiative that supports efforts to scale up energy efficiency and clean energy – and lower greenhouse gas emissions – in these six countries is the Energy Transition in Asia program managed by the Energy and Extractives Global Practice.
Comprising of knowledge exchange and capacity building on key issues, the program recently held a workshop in Singapore to share lessons learned on energy efficiency, following last year’s learning forum on solar auctions, also held in the city-state. Participants agree that peer-to-peer learning works. After sharing best practice efforts in China, India, Japan, Korea, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and host country Singapore, team spirit and friendships strengthened, along with confidence, productivity and learning outcomes.
By the end of the three-day workshop, participants from governments not only requested follow-up assistance but also to learn more from their newfound friends about conserving more energy. “We were able to advance country engagement with the clients on energy efficiency,” explained Xiaodong Wang, team leader for the Energy Transition in Asia initiative. “Conducive policies that combine mandatory regulations with financial incentives are essential drivers to create market demand for catalyzing investments in energy efficiency.”
Results are already encouraging. China is a leading example. From 1990 to 2010, more than half of global energy savings took place in China, thanks to the government’s ambitious targets, stringent regulatory policies, generous financial incentives, and effective institutions – all of which reiterate strong commitment to energy efficiency. Reducing energy intensity was made a mandatory target, allocated to each province and 17,000 energy intensive enterprises. Efficiency standards for appliances, buildings, and vehicles were upgraded and complemented with billions of dollars of financial incentives in output-based subsidies, rebates for energy efficient consumer products, and compensation for the phase-out of inefficient stocks. All these efforts were monitored across the country.
India also led by example. Energy savings targets – at least for energy intensive industries – were made mandatory with the Perform, Achieve, and Trade scheme (PAT), which also allows the trade of Energy Savings Certificates to achieve targets in a least-cost way. Non-compliance at the end of the three-year cycle incurs a financial penalty. The results of the first phase surpassed targets. The second phase began in April 2017.
Workshop participants from India reminded, however, that these are early years. Following a visit to the district cooling system under Marina Bay Sands – the world’s largest underground facility and its most efficient – S.P. Garnaik, Chief General Manager of India’s Energy Efficiency Services Ltd. (EESL), a joint venture under the Ministry of Power, envisioned replicating such a system in India. But while a policy framework is being prepared to support the use of district cooling systems in rapidly urbanizing India, Garnaik admits that substantial results may take time, as “these are very new concepts.”
In addition to the mandatory output-based target approach in China and India, participants also noted Singapore’s green mark program, which combines mandatory building codes with financial incentives from the government for auditing and investment costs, as a model to emulate.
Indeed, the knowledge gap between participating countries is large. Yet even countries in the ‘nascent’ phase are eager to make progress.
Energy intensity in Asia is highest in Vietnam, with energy consumption by industry accounting for almost half of the country’s total energy use. Current efforts towards energy efficiency are encouraging. Labeling schemes have been established and energy management systems now require energy managers and auditors in large energy users. Indonesia is implementing a similar system.
Learning from one’s peers can be galvanizing. As Trinh Quoc Vu of Vietnam’s Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Development Department at the Ministry of Industry and Trade explains, Vietnam is eager to learn from China’s and India’s shift to a mandatory target approach. Indonesia’s delegates were inspired by their peers’ experience in expanding pilot programs. The Bank is providing advisory services to both Indonesia and Vietnam in their efforts to scale up energy efficiency.
The workshop also highlighted the critical role of strong government support in developing the ESCO business. ESCOS are energy service companies which design and implement energy savings projects. Energized by his peers, Trinh is now intent on exploring mechanisms for promoting and incentivizing the ESCO business in Vietnam.
The World Bank Group supports many energy efficiency financing mechanisms worldwide, including through credit lines, risk sharing facilities, dedicated funds, program-for-results (PforR), and development policy loans. Critical to success is a strong pipeline for deal flows, as well as technical assistance.
In India, the Partial Risk Sharing Facility for Energy Efficiency initiative, financed by the Clean Technology Fund (CTF) and Global Environment Facility (GEF) resources, is supporting private sector ESCO-implemented energy efficiency projects through partial credit guarantees. The proposed new US$300 million India Energy Efficiency Scale Up Operation with EESL is expected to leverage over $1.5 billion of demand side energy efficiency investments across residential and public sectors. Similarly, the China Energy Efficiency Financing Project has leveraged the original World Bank financing eight times over, with a total investment of US$2.6 billion. The project has led to an annual reduction of 11 million tons of CO2 emissions.
Such figures may seem ambitious, but workshop participants were unfazed. Many are confident they will accomplish similar achievements. When learning from one’s peers, who all face challenges in their respective development journey, anything can seem possible.
The Sustainable Energy Forum for East Africa 2018
The Sustainable Energy Forum for East Africa, a key event for promoting access to renewable energy sources in the region, will take place between 19 and 21 March 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda.
Leaders from governments, businesses, civil society and international organizations are expected to attend the Forum and exchange ideas on how to improve access to clean energy sources in East Africa. The event comes at a crucial moment when the international community is focused on improving progress on Sustainable Development Goal 7 and the goals set by the Paris Climate Agreement.
Off-grid renewables, clean cooking fuels, and energy financing and policies are among the many issues that will be discussed in the plenaries. The Forum will also feature sessions on sustainable cities, East Africa’s geothermal projects and future potential, and gender mainstreaming in energy access.
Speakers attending the Forum include: Rachel Kyte, CEO of Sustainable Energy for All; Ambassador Libérat Mfumukeko, Secretary General, East African Community (EAC); Tareq Emtairah, Director of Energy, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO); Robert Zeiner, Director International Cooperation, Austrian Development Agency; Upendra Tripathi, Director General, International Solar Alliance (ISA); and Sakari Oksanen, Deputy Director General, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA); Monojeet Pal, Manager, African Development Bank (AfDB).
This year’s Forum will take place in Kigali, Rwanda. The city is a very special location since it hosted one of the most successful international treaties in human history, the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol.
The Sustainable Energy Forum for East Africa 2018 is organized by the East African Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (EACREEE) in collaboration with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the EAC Secretariat, the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), Sustainable Energy For All (SEforALL), and the Ministry of Infrastructure of the Republic of Rwanda (MININFRA), and is hosted by the government of Rwanda.
The organizers welcome participants from the public and private sectors, including sub-national entities, development finance institutions, domestic and international enterprises, international organizations, industry associations, and experts from academia.
Global Energy Transition Must Accelerate to Thwart Climate Change
A new report, Fostering Effective Energy Transition, published today by the World Economic Forum presents its Energy Transition Index 2018, benchmarking 114 countries according to the current state of their energy systems and their structural readiness to adapt to future energy needs.
The report ranks countries on their current energy system performance along three dimensions – energy security and access, environmental sustainability of the system, and potential for inclusive economic growth and development – and evaluates the extent to which enabling conditions that facilitate a low-carbon transition are present.
“With this new fact-based framework, we do not only get a view of the performance of national energy systems today but also a much-needed perspective on what is needed to succeed in the future”, Roberto Bocca, Head of Basics and Energy Industries, World Economic Forum.
The key finding of this year’s Index is that worldwide progress toward environmental sustainability has stalled, demonstrated by a near-flat trend in carbon intensity: marginal improvement has occurred at only 1.8% a year over the past five years versus the 3% threshold required to achieve the Paris Agreement on climate goals. In terms of affordability, household electricity prices have risen in real terms in more than half of countries since 2013, despite an overall fall in fuel prices.
On a more positive note, recent global trends indicate more than 80% of countries registering an improvement in their energy systems over the past five years. However, it also concludes that a new strategy is needed to assist the one billion people currently without electricity.
The Energy Transition Index (ETI) in 2018
According to the findings, Scandinavian and Western European nations lead the overall rankings, with Sweden, Norway and Switzerland making up the top three. The United Kingdom (7) and France (9) are the only G7 economies in the top 10.
Other large economies show mixed performance. Germany (16) faces challenges from high energy prices and rising emissions but has a high level of readiness (11), attributed to strong institutions and regulations. The United States (25) scores poorly on environmental sustainability, but a strong innovation ecosystem, robust institutional framework and vibrant capital markets contribute to a higher readiness rank (22).
Colombia (32), Brazil (38) and Russia (70) have well-performing energy systems due to abundant natural resources, but also have low levels of readiness as a result of gaps in human capital and challenges in their institutions and regulatory frameworks.
The report identifies countries that demonstrate above average levels of readiness, despite lower rankings on current performance, suggesting the potential to “leapfrog” to more advanced energy systems. These include the Republic of Korea (49), Jordan (65), and Kenya (71). Increased investment in renewables and energy efficiency in the latter, for example, has led to significant expansion in energy access.
China (76) also achieves leapfrog status due to recent mandates for electric vehicles and political commitment to addressing environmental challenges, including steps towards the creation of a carbon trading market. Its performance suffers due to its low rank on environmental sustainability.
India (78) has improved its performance by making strides towards energy access and reducing energy subsidies. India has taken a series of bold measures, particularly on renewables deployment and energy efficiency, and ranks as an “Emerging Country” that is rapidly approaching the leapfrog category.
Fostering Effective Energy Transition, produced with analytical support from McKinsey & Company, concludes with seven steps for an effective energy transition, as well as illustrations of successful experiences and tested frameworks that countries can learn from. Long-term roadmaps with clear imperatives, goals and milestones – and establishment of enablers identified in this framework – are essential for countries to accelerate their energy transition.
“Disruption in the energy system is approaching an inflection point and policy-makers, business and society must get ready to capture the opportunities that energy transitions offer. Predictable yet flexible country energy roadmaps are a crucial part of an effective transition that creates value for both business and society”, said Thomas Seitz, Senior Partner, McKinsey & Company.
“There is an urgent need to speed up the transition toward more sustainable energy production and use, including reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, greater access to energy and improvements in air quality. To do this we will need to harness a broad portfolio of energy technologies and deepen cooperation between governments, industry and civil society stakeholders”, said Fatih Birol, Executive Director, International Energy Agency and Co-Chair of Stewardship Board, Shaping the Future of Energy System Initiative, World Economic Forum.
Russia Says U.S. Trains Jihadists to Do Chemical Attacks Blamed Against Assad
On March 17th, Russia’s Minister of Defense (equivalent to America’s Secretary of Defense) announced, through Russian General Staff spokesman General...
From Radical Ecology to Ecoterrorism
Radical ecology The schools of thought of contemporary eco-terrorism are many, but those that use an antagonist theoretical-practical approach can...
Why At Least Two Nuclear Super-Powers Are Essential
My distinguished colleague at Strategic Culture Foundation, Federico Pieraccini, has recently argued that “nuclear-armed powers decrease the likelihood of a...
Ice Silk Road: From Dream to reality
Authors: Mahdi Torabi, Vahid Pourtajrishi The history of Silk Road backs to thousands years ago. The aim of creation of...
Entrepreneurs in unexpected places: How one Midwest city promotes diverse local innovation
In September of 2017, thousands of people from around the world congregated in an unlikely place: Wausau, Wisconsin. This diverse...
The World without Colonies – Dakhla without Potemkin Village
Last November marked forty two years since 350,000 Moroccans crossed into the Western Sahara as part of the staged manipulation...
What Results When U.S. Invades a Country
The U.S. Government certainly leads the world in invasions and coups. In recent years, it has invaded and occupied —...
Africa2 days ago
The Ethiopian Powder Keg Is a Regional Threat
Russia2 days ago
New American-Russian Conflict: A Confrontation beyond Cold War
Middle East1 day ago
Three Years of Saudi Heinous Crimes in Yemen
Africa1 day ago
The World without Colonies – Dakhla without Potemkin Village
Terrorism2 days ago
New ISIL called the MEK
South Asia2 days ago
India’s Military Spending and South Asian Security
East Asia16 hours ago
Ice Silk Road: From Dream to reality
Energy3 days ago
The Sustainable Energy Forum for East Africa 2018