Production from Norouz Field to Begin in Late 2003

Shell completed drilling operations on the Norouz field offshore Iran in May. The company had drilled as many as 17 wells, which will guarantee an output of 80,000 to 90,000 barrels per day of oil for five years. Production will gradually decline after a five-year period.

The Norouz field is expected to come onstream in late 2003. The Norouz and the Soroush field are expected to yield as much as 190,000 barrels of oil per day.

The contract for development of Norouz and Soroush was signed in November 1999 by National Iranian Oil Company and Shell. The deal predicts a period of 45 months for completion of the project at a cost of $799 million.

Norouz oil field, which extends over an area of 300 square kilometers, lies 93 kilometers northwest of Kharg island and 53 kilometers from Soroush field, which was discovered in 1966. The field yielded 5,000 barrels of oil a day prior to reconstruction operations.