Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov.21/ Trend F.Milad/
Iran will launch seven drilling rigs in the South Pars gas field by the end of the current Iranian calendar year (March 19, 2013), the Iranian oil minister said on Wednesday.
Currently 13 drilling rigs are active in South Pars, the IRNA News Agency quoted Rostam Qasemi as saying.
Iran plans to increase the number of South Pars gas field's drilling rigs up to 28 by the end of the second quarter of next Iranian year (September 2013).
The Iranian Oil Minister said on Monday that once all the phases of South Pars gas field come on stream, Iran will no longer need to import gas.
Phases 15 and 16 of South Pars will come on stream by March 2013, the ISNA News Agency quoted Rostam Qasemi as saying.
Iran has attached a priority on boosting gas production capacity from its joint oilfields with Qatar and Saudi Arabia, Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi said in June.
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 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.