Launch of SP Phases 15-16 in Nov.

Launch of SP Phases 15-16 in Nov.Launch of SP Phases 15-16 in Nov.

Phases 15 and 16 of South Pars Gas Field will be officially launched in the first half of November in the presence of President Hassan Rouhani, a deputy oil minister said on Sunday.

“Phases 17-21 are also planned to become operational by the end of the current Iranian year (March 19, 2016),” Rokneddin Javadi was quoted as saying by Shana.

Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh’s Master Plan for South Pars will be fully realized by the yearend. Zanganeh said that as he took office in mid-2013, Iran faced a massive shortage of 160 mcm/d of gas at the time.

But the deficit was reduced upon boosting natural gas output by 120 mcm/d, following the launch of several phases once he divided them into first- and second-priority sets to accelerate output.

Phase 12 of South Pars–the country’s biggest gas project in history—was officially launched in March in a ceremony attended by the president. The phase has the capacity to produce 75 million cubic meters of natural gas and 120,000 barrels of gas condensates per day.

Gas output from the field is targeted to increase by 100 million cubic meters per day once the drilling of wells in the offshore sector of phases 12, 15, 16, 17 and 18, and parts of phases 19, 20 and 21 are completed.

Many experts believe this could revolutionize Iran’s oil industry down to every sector, particularly in feedstock provision to petrochemical complexes, which are currently not performing to maximum capacity due to paucity of ethane.

The problem, along with several others, has prevented the Islamic Republic from using more than 70% of its full potential to produce 60 million tons of petrochemical goods per year, according to Deputy Oil Minister Abbas Sheri-Moqaddam. SP 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 that measures 6,000 square kilometers.

The minister believes Iran can match Qatar’s rate of extraction from SP reservoirs by the end of President Hassan Rouhani’s first term in office should SP phases come on stream according to schedule, Zanganeh said on the sidelines of the inauguration. Javadi noted that the drilling process of an oil layer of the gas field has drawn to a close and said offshore production facilities considered for the layer are currently under construction and will become fully operational next February.

“The first phase of the South Pars development project has begun and is estimated to have a daily output capacity of 75,000 barrels of oil,” he said.

According to Alireza Zeighami, director of the project, the second phase will also be launched after assessing the progress and studying the field’s production performance, provided the project shows economic promise.