Increase in Condensate Exports

Increase in Condensate Exports Increase in Condensate Exports

Iran has significantly increased the export of condensates as more phases of its South Pars Gas Field come on stream, said Iraj Ghavami, head of the Asalouyeh Gas Terminal in Bushehr Province.

Condensate exports reached 41.7 million barrels, or around 440,000 barrels per day, in the first quarter of the present Iranian year (March 20-June 20), Mehr News Agency said.

Outbound shipments of the petroleum products in March-June compared to the same period last year show 18% rise in terms of volume as 19% more vessels berthed at the Asalouyeh terminal to carry the export cargo.

"Large vessels with a capacity of 320,000 tons can berth at the Asalouyeh Gas Terminal. Fifty-one crude carriers loaded Iran's condensate in the first three months," Ghavami said.

Gas condensate is a liquid hydrocarbon that forms in association with natural gas. Although it is extracted from gas fields, condensate is typically classified and marketed as a type of sweet, ultra light crude oil.

"Completion of more phases of South Pars (gas field) has significantly pushed up condensate production and export," the official noted.

Iran is planning to boost crude production to 5.8 million bpd in five years, including 4.8 million bpd of heavy crude and 1 million barrels of condensate it draws from South Pars, the world's largest gas field it shares with Qatar. Iran is developing its SP gas production facilities in 24 phases which are due for completion by 2018.

Tehran has declared that it will do all that it takes to regain its market share lost to rival producers after tighter restrictions imposed by the US and EU significantly curtailed its oil production and exports.

Once the second-largest producer of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Iran slipped to fifth place under the punitive restrictions, but has since climbed up to the third spot.

  South Korea Market

South Korea is one of the main customers of Iran's condensate. According to trading sources, Korean companies took in at least 6 million barrels of Iranian South Pars Condensate (SPC) in June, up from about 3 million to 4 million barrels in April and May.

Higher export of Iranian condensate to the world's fifth-largest crude buyer could take place in the fourth quarter if Iran signs a deal with Hyundai Chemical to supply the company's new 110,000-bpd refinery in Daesan on the country's west coast, which would be completed in the second half of the year.

South Korea usually includes condensate in its crude imports data without giving a breakdown.

According to RBN Energy, an energy market data provider and services company, condensates are "in the twilight zone between crude oil and natural gas …they possess characteristics of both oil and gas and have values and market drivers both similar to and distinctly separate from oil and gas."