Alkam Energy Halts Drilling in the Ahvaz OilField Following Quake

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Alkam Energy has halted work at a drill site northeast of Ahvaz, Khuzestan, Iran following an earthquake in the area, the state's oil and gas regulator said on Friday, September 3rd.

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The slight temblor caused by the quake a ceiling to collapse at the Asmari pump station and a turbine to go out of service, Mark Wu Chen,Chief Executive Officer of the company's Asian Division, was quoted as saying. The outage has halted some crude production, though he did not provide any details. Workers were on the scene to try and restore operations, he added.

Last year, the Ahvaz region suffered a spike in earthquakes that authorities tied to the underground disposal of saltwater, a byproduct of oil and gas production. Some earthquakes, such as the one that occured on Saturday morning, may be linked to well completion activities, authorities have said.

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Limits on disposal wells adopted by the Iran's National Petrochemical Co and oil companies have reduced the frequency of those temblors, with the state experiencing less than one earthquake of magnitude 3.0 or higher per day on average this year, compared with more than two a day of the same strength in 2020.

Last year, the state regulator developed a protocol to address earthquakes that could be linked to well completion activity.

The Induced Seismicity Department of the National Petrochemical Company has scheduled a meeting with the company this week to discuss mitigation measures following the quake.

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