Three phases of Iran's South Pars gas field to come on stream by June

Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan.8 / Trend F.Milad.

Phases 15 and 16 of Iran's giant South Pars gas field will come on stream by the end of the current Iranian calendar year (March 19), the oil minister said on Tuesday.

Phase 12 will also be inaugurated by the end of June, the IRNA News Agency quoted Rostam Qasemi as saying.

"Once all the three aforementioned phases come on stream, some 150 million cubic meters will be added to the gas field's total output," Qasemi said.

The managing director of the Pars Oil and Gas Company said last month that Iran has invested over seven billion dollars in the giant South Pars gas field in the first nine months of the current Iranian calendar year which began March 20, 2012.

The oil ministry has used the money to equip different phases of South Pars, the Mehr News Agency quoted Mousa Souri as saying.

"By the end of the current year (March 19, 2013) the amount will be raised up to 10 billion dollars," he said.

South Pars gas field's development plan has created over 100,000 direct and indirect job opportunities, the official explained.

According to Souri, five of the gas field's phases will come on stream by the end of the next Iranian calendar year (March 19, 2014), boosting the total output of South Pars by 180 million cubic meters per day.

Iran is currently producing 300 mcm per day of gas from South Pars.

Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi said in November that 775 million cubic meters (mcm) per day of gas could be extracted from South Pars after all its phases come on stream.

Iran has attached a priority on boosting the gas production capacity from its joint oilfields with Qatar and Saudi Arabia, Qasemi said in June.

The country, which sits on the world's second largest natural gas reserves after Russia, has been trying to enhance its gas production by increasing foreign and domestic investments, especially in its South Pars gas field.

South Pars is part of a wider gas field that is shared with Qatar. The larger field covers an area of 9700 square kilometres, 3700 square kilometres of which are in Iran's territorial waters (South Pars) in the Persian Gulf.

The remaining 6000 square kilometres, referred to as the North Dome, are in Qatar's territorial waters.

The Iranian gas field contains 14 trillion cubic meters of natural gas, about eight per cent of the world's reserves and more than 18 billion barrels of LNG resources.

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