SP Phases 17-18 Set for June Launch

SP Phases 17-18  Set for June LaunchSP Phases 17-18  Set for June Launch

Iran is pressing ahead with plans to raise gas production capacity, as it prepares for the full launch of two more phases of South Pars Gas Field later this year in cooperation with a foreign company.

Hassan Bouyeri, director of South Pars phases 17 and 18, said all offshore and onshore facilities of the two phases will become operational by June, Mehr News Agency reported.

"The two phases have made more than 90% physical progress and [all] four refining units are now operational, producing close to 30 million cubic meters per day of natural gas," he said.

The phases are designed to produce 50 mcm/d of gas. So far, 22 wells have been drilled in the offshore sector of the two phases to deliver natural gas to onshore processing facilities through a 220-kilometer pipeline.

"WorleyParsons, a leading international engineering, procurement and construction company, has provided nearly 60% of equipment and machinery in phases 17 and 18, while Iranian contractors have carried out around two-thirds of all operations," Bouyeri said.

Headquartered in Sydney, Australia, WorleyParsons operates in hydrocarbons, minerals, metals, chemicals and infrastructure sectors.

The official added that about $5.7 billion so far have been invested in the dual phases, with total investments projected to reach $6.2 billion.

Since production began more than a year ago, the two phases have produced 4 billion cubic meters of gas as well as 1 million barrels of condensates and 6,000 tons of ethane for petrochemical complexes. The two phases have been in the making for more than eight years.

Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said in a statement this month that phases 17 and 18 are already operational, but are yet to be officially inaugurated because of not hitting optimal production capacity.

With an output of around 420 mcm/d, Iran is trailing Qatar who draws more than 700-mcm/d from the joint field that holds an estimated 40 trillion cubic meters of natural gas, or roughly 8% of the world’s gas reserves and approximately 18 billion barrels of condensate.

The world's biggest gas field covers approximately 3,700 square kilometers of Iran’s territorial waters in the Persian Gulf, adjoining Qatar’s North Field that measures 6,000 square kilometers.

Officials say Iran can top Qatar's rate of extraction once all 28 phases of South Pars become operational. South Pars output accounts for more than 50% of Iran's total gas production capacity, but it is expected to rise to 75% next year.

The government of President Hassan Rouhani is speeding up the development of gas production facilities in line with the country's long-term target to ramp up output to 1 billion cubic meters per day in two years before crossing the ambitious 1.2-bcm/d milestone.

Earlier this month, Rouhani inaugurated South Pars phases 15 and 16 with a gas production capacity of more than 50 mcm/d.

Also in March 2015, the president officially launched Phase 12–Iran's biggest gas project in history—which is tantamount to three regular phases in terms of scope of operation and output.