Iran plans to start pumping natural gas from the biggest phase of its giant offshore South Pars gas field this week.
The first platform of phase 12 will become operational on Sunday, transferring 25mln cubic meters of natural gas to the Kangan Refinery by Friday, said Rasoul Fallahnejad, the project manager of the phase, press tv reported.
The refined natural gas will be injected into the national gas grid in February, he said.
Phase 12 is the South Pars’ biggest phase in terms of volume of activities as well as investment and production levels, he said.
When fully operational, said the project manager, phase 12 will see some 75mln cubic meters (3bln cubic feet) of sweet gas pumped into the national gas network per annum.
The project which is 93-percent complete has been implemented in a 220-hectare area, he said, adding it will also yield 120,000 barrels of gaseous condensates per day.
When fully operational, Fallahnejad said, the project will bring in $10-11bln annually, which accounts for three percent of the country’s GDP.
Iran’s natural gas output currently stands at 500-550mln cubic meters per day, he said, and added phase 12 of the South Pars, when fully completed, will see domestic gas production rise by 15 percent (80mln cubic meters).
Earlier this month, Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh underlined the need for the acceleration of work in Phase 12 of South Pars gas field.
Zanganeh called on the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) to mobilize its forces for the operation of Phase 12 of the giant reservoir which Iran shares with Qatar.
The minister told contractors during his recent visit to South Pars that gas production from the offshore section of Phase 12 must be prioritized.
He said two desalting units in Phase 12 are expected to come online in March next year, adding that these units are of great importance for fuel supply in the winter.
Zanganeh said Iran’s gas industry is bracing for its hardest ever year in terms of gas supply. “We have to make efforts to launch a section of this phase as soon as possible. Based on our plans, South Pars Refining Complex affiliated with NIGC can help Petropars Company which is operating the project,” he said.
Zanganeh said contractors must always think that international sanctions on the oil industry are not being lifted. “Important petroleum industry projects must not be delayed due to waiting for the lifting of sanctions. The necessary commodities must be supplied in whatsoever manner and be installed in the project,” he added.
Zanganeh said delayed development of South Pars has caused gas shortage even in the winter. “For example, during the first half of the current (calendar) year, we burnt 12 billion liters of fuel oil and gasoil in the country’s gas-fuelled power plants.”