17 Drilling Rigs Active in South Pars

17 Drilling  Rigs  Active in South Pars17 Drilling  Rigs  Active in South Pars

Iran has overtaken Qatar in number of drilling rigs as seven more of its offshore platforms and 14 gas sweetening units have become operational.

There are 17 drilling rigs operating concurrently in South Pars gas field, while the total number of drilling rigs on the Qatari side has fallen to six, Mehr news agency reported.

Thirteen refineries in phases 12, 15, 16, 17 and 18 came on stream over the past nine months, and 4 offshore platforms started operations. The number of active drilling rigs may rise to 20 by year end (March 2015).

Iran is planning to increase sweet gas production from the joint field to more than 750,000 million cubic meters per day (mcm/d), which means that not only Iran surpass Qatar in terms of daily gas production, but will also decrease the likelihood of gas migration from the field.

Gas migration is the process of gas moving from the site of original deposition to other places via diffusion. Usually, gas moves from areas of high concentration to areas of low gas concentration around a landfill.

Nearly 100 mcm/d of sour gas from the recently-developed South Pars phases of 12, 15, 16, 17, and 18 is extracted and transferred via an offshore pipeline to costal refineries. Gas extraction capacity from the above-mentioned phases is projected to reach 140 mcm/d by March.

Currently sour gas extraction capacity from South Pars field stands at 400 mcm/d.

Iran holds the world’s second biggest natural gas reserves after Russia, and the fourth-largest proved crude oil reserves.  It holds 17 percent of the world's proved natural gas reserves and more than one-third of OPEC's reserves. Iran's largest natural gas field, South Pars, is estimated to hold roughly 40 percent of Iran's gas reserves.

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 has a capacity of producing 820 mcm/d and 1 mcm/d of gas and gas condensate respectively.