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The South Pars mega project has registered a work-in-progress rate of 85% and the rest will be completed by March 2019, the end of the next Iranian year, managing director of Pars Oil and Gas Company said.

"More than $70 billion have been expended on the gas project over the last 15 years and the field requires between $20 billion and $30 billion in additional spending to become fully operational," Mohammad Meshkinfam was quoted as saying by POGC website on Thursday.

POGC is a subsidiary of the state-owned National Iranian Oil Company. It has been the contractor of several phases of South Pars as well as North Pars, Golshan and Ferdowsi gas fields in the Persian Gulf.

The mega gas project is being developed in 24 phases.

"Except for Phase 11 that will be expanded by the French energy major Total, other phases such as 13, 22, 23 and 24 will be in full swing in a year and a half," the official added.

Giving a breakdown on the venture, the official noted that the company has built 13 refineries, drilled 413 wells, laid 3,500 kilometers of subsea pipeline and constructed 40 platforms. According to Meshkinfam, upon full implementation, the field's daily output will amount to 730 million cubic meters of natural gas, 1 million barrels of gas condensates, 10 million tons of LPG and 5,000 tons of sulfur.

"Now that the field is in the last stage of development, other vital issues like collecting and reusing associated petroleum gas that is being burnt off as well as curbing industrial waste water will be high on the agenda," he said, adding that POGC should turn its attention to addressing environmental issues and upgrading dilapidated equipment.

Coordinated Approach

According to Gholamreza Manouchehri, the deputy for development and engineering at the National Iranian Oil Company, Tehran is on track to finish the development of remaining South Pars phases by March 2019.

"Plans are in place to complete the onshore refineries for the remaining phases that will receive sour natural gas from phases 6 to 8," he said. "All South Pars contractors, namely Khatam-al-Anbiya Construction Headquarters, an engineering company affiliated to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Iran Marine Industrial Company, Petro Paydar Iranian Company and MAPNA Group have adopted a fully coordinated approach to the expansion of the mega project."

Pointing to a huge financial loss in case the phases are not developed on time, Manouchehri added that each of the incomplete phases are forecast to generate between $5 million and $10 million in daily revenues that is why postponing the plan will result in $30 million loss per day on average.

South Pars is the world's largest gas field shared by Iran and Qatar in the Persian Gulf. Iran is now drawing around 500 million cubic meters per day of natural gas from the joint field with the tiny Arab state's output reportedly at 650-700 mcm/d. Data show that Iran's output from South Pars has soared by 250 mcm/d over the past three and a half years. In the previous fiscal year alone, South Pars' output increased by nearly 100 mcm/d.

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