Azerbaijan, Baku, Sep.19/ Trend F.Milad/
Iran will equal Qatar in extracting natural gas from the South Pars gas field by March 2014, Iran Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi said.
If the necessary development budget of 650 trillion rials ($53 billion) is provided, Iran will extract natural gas as much as Qatar in the joint gas field, Qasemi told the Mehr news agency.
Previously, Qasemi said that the country's oil output is projected to increase by 1.5 million bpd by 2016.
All development plans related to joint oil and gas fields will be finalised by the end of the first half of the current Iranian calendar year (September 21), he added.
Qasemi has ordered all the contractors of the South Pars gas field development projects to work round the clock in three shifts to complete development of all phases, especially phases 12, 15, 16, 17 and 18.
Iran has attached the priority on boosting gas production capacity from its joint oilfields with Qatar and Saudi Arabia, Qasemi said.
Iran sits on the world's second largest natural gas reserves after Russia and is trying to grow its gas production by increasing foreign and domestic investments, especially in its South Pars gas field.
The South Pars gas field is shared by Iran and Qatar. The Iranian share which is divided into 29 phases, has about 14 trillion cubic meters of gas, or about eight per cent of the total world reserves and more than 18 billion barrels of liquefied natural gas resources.