Last Unit of SP Phase 12 Goes Into Operation

Last Unit of SP Phase 12 Goes Into OperationLast Unit of SP Phase 12 Goes Into Operation

The sixth and the last gas unit of South Pars Phase 12's refinery has gone into operation, preparing grounds for the giant refinery to be inaugurated in advance of 'Production Celebration' scheduled to be held in late February, said the managing director of Petropars Co., IRNA reported.

Referring to the sanctions as main impediment to investment and technological progress, Mohammad Javad Shams said putting six gas units and one sulfur recovery unit into operation in one year was an "extraordinary achievement," which would have not been possible without proper management by the oil ministry.

Six gas sweetening units went on stream since April 2014 when the initial daily production of 500 cubic feet (14.1 cubic meters) had commenced. Two platforms B and C of the South Pars Phase 12 were also installed and put into operation over the past year. Another sulfur recovery unit is due commissioning by February 20, he noted.

Despite international sanctions and the absence of foreign companies, a comprehensive plan enabled drilling operations to proceed steadily with the assistance of Iranian companies who provided funding and helped acquire machineries and equipment.

"This has alleviated concerns over gas shortage and potential gas pressure reductions," Shams stated.

Although sanctions have had devastating consequences in so far as they held back projects and impeded procurement of technology, they brought about positive results as domestic manufacturers were forced to enhance their capabilities, he asserted.

Share of Iranian contractors was projected at 51 percent when the contract was signed for the conduct of project. However, due to sanctions the entire offshore project was carried out by domestic contractors. Likewise, 75 percent of offshore operations were handed over to Iranian contractors. Petropars is the project's operator.

Phase 12 contains four percent of South Pars field's gas reserves, which is slightly less than one percent of the world's gas reserves, Shams said, adding: "The project is the biggest in the entire industrial history of Iran in terms of human resources, investment, and profitability."

Total monthly production from the field is valued at $327 million. Total sweet gas and gas condensate production stood at 6 and 8.8 million tons, respectively, generating more than $1.5 billion in revenues.   

The field is estimated to contain 14 trillion cubic meters of gas and 18 billion barrels of gas condensate. Once fully operational, Phase 12 will see some 75 million cubic meters of sweet gas pumped into the national gas network.

With a physical progress of 96 percent so far, phase 12 is one of the several prioritized phases of the South Pars gas field. The onshore and offshore sections and the drilling of the phase have recorded progress of 97, 99, and 93 percent, respectively.

It is located on the border with Qatar, in an area measuring 206 square kilometers. The offshore section is approximately 150 km from Iran’s coastline and the onshore section is located in the Tombak Region, 65km west of Assaluyeh.

The US and its allies imposed tough sanctions on Iran to curb the country's nuclear program which they claim is geared to military use. Iran insists its program is peaceful. Iran and the P5+1 group (five permanent members of the UN Security Council, namely United States, Russia, China, United Kingdom, and France, plus Germany) have been holding marathon talks over the past year to thrash out a mutually acceptable comprehensive deal.