SP Gas Output at 46 bcm in March-Sept.

SP Gas Output at 46 bcm in March-Sept.SP Gas Output at 46 bcm in March-Sept.

More than 45.8 billion cubic meters of natural gas were pumped from South Pars, Iran's biggest gas field in the Persian Gulf region in March-September, managing director of the South Pars Gas Complex said.

Masoud Hassani added that the amount is roughly 18% higher than SP's gas output of 38.6 bcm in the same period of last year, Shana reported. SP's daily gas production stood at 280 million cubic meters in the six-month period.

The gas field has reportedly supplied more than 50% of the country's total gas needs over the past seven months, but the volume is expected to rise to 75% next year once seven high-priority phases are complete.The official said SPGC produced 400,000 barrels of gas condensates, 8,000 tons of liquefied petroleum gas or LPG and 5,200 tons of ethane in March-September.

Hassani added that associated petroleum gas burned off in gas flares was cut from 420 mcm in March-September 2014 to 220 mcm in the same period this year. Associated gas is a form of natural gas found with deposits of petroleum. It is often released as a waste product from the petroleum extraction industry. When it is burned off in gas flares, it is referred to as flare gas.

South Pars is the world's largest gas field, shared between Iran and Qatar, covering an area of 3,700 square kilometers of Iran's territorial waters in the Persian Gulf. It adjoins Qatar’s North Field, which measures 6,000 square kilometers.

  $9b Investment

The government of President Hassan Rouhani has invested $9 billion in developing the 27 phases of South Pars field since he took office in August 2013, Shana said in a report. However, the figure is significantly shy of the $50 billion in investments Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh has deemed necessary for developing the country's joint oil and gas fields.

Iran aims to close in on its Persian Gulf neighbors, particularly Qatar, in terms of extraction from joint oil and gas fields. It has 26 joint oil and gas fields with its neighboring countries, but a lack of modern technology and budget has hampered development of fields, allowing neighbors to draw the lion's share of underground reserves.

Iran is particularly lagging behind Qatar in exploiting South Pars' massive hydrocarbon resources. According to reports, the tiny Arab neighbor is drawing 1.6 times faster from the joint field.

Tehran plans to fast-track the development of joint fields by attracting foreign investment and technologies. It will unveil around 50 projects, including for the development of several SP phases, to international oil and gas companies, as they prepare to take on lucrative energy projects in the post-sanctions Iran.

On the sidelines of a three-day international oil and energy conference in Tehran, representatives of Italian giant Eni and French oil and gas major Total said they are willing to finance Iranian projects and transfer advanced drilling and extraction technologies.