First Offshore SP Processing Platform Installed

First Offshore SP Processing  Platform InstalledFirst Offshore SP Processing  Platform Installed

After 10 years of delay, the first offshore processing platform was installed in the oil layers of South Pars field, in the Persian Gulf on Tuesday, Mehr news agency reported.

Domestic experts had the platform, commissioned by Petro Iran Development Company (PEDCO), installed on a 1,300-ton piled jacket. The jacket is 79 meters high, with a length of 26 and 28 meters. The platform, together with the jacket, is 2,800-ton in weight.

The 890-ton deck, or topsides, has the capacity to collect and process 20,000-35,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd) from the seven wells spudded in the South Pars oil layers in the first phase. The topsides was manufactured in Bandar Abbas, southern Iran, and transported to the platform.

The deck was put onto Sadaf-3.000 barge, towed out to the jacket location, and swung over the jacket via a heavy lift barge crane, and ultimately was welded to the jacket with great accuracy, from April 14 to 21.  Having had installed the deck, the offshore commissioning activities will be carried out in the near future. It is expected that production from the platform will commence in the second half of the next Iranian calendar year (begins March 2016), after the remaining processing equipment is manufactured.

"Technical and operational aspects of oil production from South Pars oil layers differ from that of South Pars gas fields," Alireza Zeiqami, director of South Pars oil layer project, said, adding that new rigs would provide more accurate estimates of new oil prospects and hydrocarbon reserves in the field. With the implementation of the first phase and the field assessments conducted thereafter, it will be determined whether the projected production of 54,000 bpd in the second phase is economically viable.

The oil layer of South Pars is estimated to contain 7 billion barrels of oil in place. The implementation of phase 2 will commence should extraction prove feasible and economical. The project, undertaken by PEDEC in 2005, was initially due for completion by a 2013 deadline. The installation of the new platform is part of plans to increase the country's extraction rate from joint fields with Qatar. However, production from the new platform cannot start since there is neither a floating storage unit nor a pipeline to deliver oil to onshore sector in the near future.

A floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) unit is expected to go into operation in Persian Gulf in about a year and will be utilized in the South Pars oilfield six months later, managing director of the National Iranian Oil Company, Rokneddin Javadi, said earlier. Operations at the oil layers of South Pars will last at least 10-12 years, during which the FPSO is essential.  The South Pars oil layer is located in the center of Persian Gulf, about 105 km from Iranian coast, and adjacent to the international boundary with Qatar. The field is the northeastern extension of Al-Shaheen Oilfield in Qatar. The Iranian portion of the field has a 67-meter depth. Development of the layer is estimated to cost one billion dollars in investment.