Politics in Iran requires the government to loudly promote any advancements, no matter how marginal. And so it was with President Ebrahim Raisi’s visit to the oil-rich southwestern Khuzestan province last week. The visit saw the official inauguration of recently completed projects including the NGL3200 gas processing plant (MEES, 21 April) and a 45,000 b/d capacity expansion project at the South Azadegan oil field (MEES, 17 February).

Both projects sit at the heart of a jigsaw of delayed and under-developed projects at Khuzestan’s West Karun oil cluster where the Islamic Republic’s long-standing ambition is to reach 1mn b/d of oil production capacity by 2026. But, despite public acclamations of progress, the work is well behind schedule amid technological and financial constraints stemming from western sanctions. (CONTINUED - 1354 WORDS)