Iran Intent on Developing Major Energy Projects

Iran aims to boost gas production capacity from South Pars to 1 bcm/d within two years and tap into the oil layers of the giant gas field by March 2017
Plans have been made to raise oil output from West Karoun oilfields by as much as 280,000 bpd.Plans have been made to raise oil output from West Karoun oilfields by as much as 280,000 bpd.

Iran is taking steps to boost oil and gas production this year by bringing on stream a number of key projects while developing its petrochemical infrastructures, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said in the southern city of Asalouyeh on Friday.

Highlighting the Oil Ministry's endeavor to maximize the development of energy sector, Zanganeh reflected on the ministry's top priorities by categorizing them into four major groups, Shana reported.

According to Zanganeh, increasing gas production from the shared South Pars Gas Field, 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, tops his ministry's priority list.

The minister also noted that Iran's production from joint field stood at 240 mcm per day in 2013, but increased to 360 mcm/d by March 2015. Moreover, plans have been made to ramp up production to 500 mcm/d by the yearend.

"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 billion cubic meters a day by 2020," he said.

Stressing that plans call for oil extraction from South Pars by the yearend, Zanganeh said South Pars Phase 11 will be completed based on the new version of Iran Petroleum Contracts.

"The initiative to extract oil from the South Pars oil layer is aimed at producing 350,000 barrels of oil per day in the first phase," he said, noting that the oilfield's development is estimated to require $1 billion in investment.

Iran’s share of the oilfield in offshore blocks A, B and C is estimated at 7.5 billion barrels.

The South Pars oil layer is located in the center of Persian Gulf, about 105 km from Iranian coast and adjacent to the international boundary with Qatar. The field is the northeastern extension of Al-Shaheen Oilfield in Qatar. The Iranian portion of the field has a depth of 67 meters.

  West Karoun Oilfields

Pointing to the second priority, the minister added that boosting oil output from West Karoun oilfields is high on the agenda.

Iran extracted 76,000 barrels of oil per day from the field in 2013. Nonetheless, the extraction amounted to more than 200,000 barrels per day and plans have been made to raise it as many as 280,000 bpd by the yearend.

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

Zanganeh noted that the oil industry can be the driving force behind Iran's economic prosperity if it is allowed to work properly.

“The oil industry has always played a key role in leading economic growth, as it generates a massive proportion of the country's national revenue," he said.

  Petrochemical Ventures

On the prospects of ongoing petrochemical ventures, the minister said Kavian, Takht-e Jamshid, Entekhab, Kaveh and Pardis Petrochemicals are among the 12 initiatives planned in the vicinity of West Ethylene Pipeline.

The pipeline is 1,200 kilometers long with a capacity of transporting 2.5 million tons of ethylene per annum from Asalouyeh to manufacturers of downstream plastic products.

The 12 ventures are expected to be launched in three months.

Asked about the first phase of the Persian Gulf Star Refinery in southern Iran, Zanganeh hoped that the mega project can go on stream by March 2017.

The long-awaited Persian Gulf Star Refinery will produce 12 million liters of Euro-4 compliant gasoline per day and 360,000 barrels per day of condensates, once the refinery’s first phase goes on stream in March.

According to plans, its products are expected to be sold domestically while those from other refineries will be exported.