Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh said in a July 7, 2019 interview on Channel 2 TV (Iran) that roughly 92% of the oil in the Sarvak layer of the Azadegan oil field remains in the ground, and he said that this is an example of why Iran needs better oil extraction technology. He said that chanting slogans about Iran's oil productions is not enough. Zangeneh went on to say that Iraq is not committed to joint oil production with Iran in the West Karoon oil field, and he warned that Iraq has the upper hand in this matter. He added: "[Iraq] extracts its own oil, and if we procrastinate, it will extract our oil, too... The world is governed by a balance of power. Woe to the weak!"
Bijan Namdar Zangeneh: "Our average production from the Sarvak layer in the Azadegan oil field is less than 6-7%. This means that 92-93% of the oil stays [in the ground]. Who will be held accountable for this by future generations? The oil stays there, and we are unable to extract it. Having top technology means that we would be able to extract more oil from the belly of the Earth. If we just chant slogans and say that we know how to do this... Okay, we produce to our full capacity and we have surpassed Iraq. In the West Karoon oil field, we are nearing 300,000 barrels per day. But for the long run, we need technology."
Interviewer: "But both Iran and Iraq are committed to joint production from this oil field..."
Bijan Namdar Zangeneh: "No, they are not committed. They use the best foreign contractors – Americans and Europeans – in their production, and generally speaking, they are not committed to working with us. They don't listen to what we say to them and they don't even answer our calls."
Interviewer: "If this oil field is ruined, it will be ruined for both countries."
Bijan Namdar Zangeneh: "No. [Iraq] extracts its own oil, and if we procrastinate, it will extract our oil too. There is no brotherhood in this respect. The Iraqis do their own thing and they don't even answer our calls. They have the upper hand. The world is governed by a balance of power. Woe to the weak!"