Iran Keen to Outpace Qatar’s Gas Output

Iran Keen to Outpace Qatar’s Gas OutputIran Keen to Outpace Qatar’s Gas Output

Iran will outpace Qatar's gas production from the shared South Pars Gas Field by the end of the current Iranian year that started in March, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said on Tuesday.

“As soon as South Pars phases 18, 19, 20 and 21 go on stream, Iran's gas output from the field will reach 500 million cubic meters per day, exceeding that of Qatar, which stands at 480 mcm per day,” Zanganeh was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.

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

Highlighting the Oil Ministry's endeavor to maximize gas extraction from the joint field in the last few years, the minister noted that Iran's extraction from the field stood at 240 mcm per day in 2013, but increased to 360 mcm by March 2015.

According to the Zanganeh, plans have been made to ramp up production by 500 mcm by the yearend.

According to the minister, the first 10 phases of South Pars cost Iran $13.4 billion, but the country’s investment in phases 12-24 exceeded $50 billion, incurring a huge debt burden.

Iran is planning to reach a production capacity of 1 billion cubic meters per day from South Pars within two years and reach 1.2 bcm/d by 2020.

Stressing that the tiny Arab neighbor has extracted twice as much as Iran from the field as it started production from the shared field in 1989, while Iran made its late foray more than a decade later, Zanganeh said, "That is a massive loss that ought to be compensated for. That is why besides the much-needed financial resources, time also plays a key role in making the new phases operational as soon as possible not to incur more losses."

On the prospects of ongoing petrochemical ventures, he said 12 initiatives planned in the vicinity of West Ethylene Pipeline, a 1,200-kilometer-long pipeline with a capacity of transporting 2.5 million tons of ethylene per annum from Asalouyeh to manufacturers of downstream plastic products, have registered significant work-in-progress and plans call for launching them in three months.

Stressing that oil output from West Karoun oilfields has tripled compared to 2013, Zanganeh said, “Iran extracted 76,000 barrels of oil per day from the field in 2013. Nonetheless, the extraction level has amounted to more than 200,000 barrels per day.”

West Karoun, located in southwest Iran, includes Yaran and Mansouri fields as well as Yadavaran and North and South Azadegan joint fields with Iraq.

The National Iranian Oil Company reportedly exported 2.74 million barrels of oil and gas condensates per day in July, of which 600,000 barrels were gas condensates.

Zanganeh is due in Bushehr Province on Thursday to visit the South Pars phases and hold talks with the mega project's managers.