Iran uses world's largest pipe-laying ship
Azerbaijan, Baku, April 15 /Trend M. Moezzi/
The world's biggest pipe-laying ship and crane has started work on Iran's joint South Pars gas and oil field, Pana news reports.
The 5,000 ton ship is installing the first offshore structure for South Pars' phase 14 and will move on to other structures as Iran works to catch up with Qatar in exploiting South Pars.
Iran and Qatar share the 9,700 square kilometer South Pars gas and oil field-lay. Qatar, however, is far ahead of Iran in exploiting the field's resources. It has intensified developing South Pars while Iran suffers international sanctions and technical and financial obstacles
The National Iranian Oil Company's (NIOC) own data shows Qatar is drawing two times more gas from South Pars than Iran. Annually, Qatar extracts 600 million cubic meters of liquefied natural gas (LNG) gas from South Pars while Iran's total stands at 290 million cubic meters.
Owing to international sanctions multinational oil and gas companies like French Total, British-Dutch Shell, and Malaysia's Petronas have left South Pars, leaving behind worries that the field's sour gas will migrate.
Iran is racing to catch up with Qatar. Right now domestic contractors and builders are working on 19 phases in South Pars. Last year (Iran's solar year ends on March 19), $12 billion was allocated for funding South Pars' phases. This year, the $22.8 billion funding is planned. About 60,000 employees are directly working on South Pars' development in Asaluyeh while 300,000 people are working on various South Pars projects.