South Pars Beats Target

South Pars Beats Target
South Pars Beats Target

Gas production in the South Pars (SP) gas field in the Persian Gulf has reached 100 million cubic meters per day, meaning that the target set by the Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh in March to increase SP extraction and refining capacity to 100 mcm/d by the end of the present Iranian year (March 2015) has been met in nine months as opposed to twelve months, Mehr news agency reported.

South Pars 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, which measures 6,000 square kilometers. The field is estimated to hold 51 trillion cubic meters of gas and 7.9 billion cubic meters of gas condensate.

Thirteen refineries in phases 12, 15, 16, 17 and 18 came on stream over the past nine months, and 4 offshore platforms started operations.

According to reports, refining and production capacity at SP Phase 12 has reached 70 mcm/d while actual output is 55-60 mcm/d. Production is expected to reach 75 mcm/d when the phase becomes fully operational.

Phase 12 is SP's largest phase in terms of volume of activity as well as investment and production level. It has 6 refining units, five of which are working, and the sixth is due to start production next February.

Despite negotiations with numerous international firms such as Austria's OMV, Venezuela's state-owned oil company PDVSA, along with several Indian companies, development of Phase 12 has been carried out entirely by Iranian experts. The Angolan oil and gas giant Sonangol Gropu which had a 10 percent stake in Phase 12 ultimately withdrew from the project due to oil and trade sanctions against Iran.

The US imposed sanctions on Iran to curb the country's nuclear program which it claims is geared to military use. Iran insists it is peaceful. Iran and world powers were unable to reach a comprehensive deal by a November 24 deadline and extended the talks for seven more months.

Gas production and export capacity has also increased due to accelerated development of Phase 12. Recently, a 1.5 million-barrel cargo of gas condensate was shipped to global markets.

Production in phases 17 and 18 has also reached 12.5 mcm/d. Output is expected to surpass 37 mcm/d upon completion of a second offshore platform and two refining units in the two phases.

Development of phases 17 and 18 commenced in 2007 and was due to be completed in 2013 but was met with delays. The two phases are designed to produce 50 mcm/d of gas and 80,000 barrels of gas condensate once fully operational.