Iran needs $17 billion to launch 6th stage of South Pars gas field

Azerbaijan, Baku, May. 31/ Trend, R. Zamanov

After $17 billion of investments, 6 phases of Iran's giant South Pars gas field will come on stream in the first months of the next Iranian calendar year (which starts on March 21, 2014), the Managing Director of National Iranian Oil Company said on Friday.

Phases 13, 20, 21, 22, 23, and 24 are the mentioned phases, the ISNA News Agency quoted Ahmad Qalebani as saying.

The development operation of the mentioned phases started 3 years ago. Based on the contract, which was signed in June 2010, the project was supposed to come on stream in 35 months.

Phases 14 and 19 were also included in the contract.

Once all the eight phases come on stream, some 250 million cubic meters of gas would be added to the country's total gas output.

The Iranian oil Minister Rostam Qasemi said in February that Iran is currently carrying out some 60 billion dollar worth of projects in the giant South Pars gas field.

The development plan of the first five phases of Iran's giant South Pars gas field (phases 15-18 and phase 12) has entered its 70th month.

The mentioned phases were supposed to come on stream by the end of previous calendar year (March 20) but none of them is complete yet, the Mehr News agency reported.

Phases 15 and 16 and phase 12 are now 90 percent and 88 percent complete, respectively, while the physical progress of phases 17 and 18 has reached 76 percent.

Qasemi has warned that the contractors may be fined.

Iran is currently producing 300 mcm per day of gas from South Pars. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had said that the gas field's production capacity would be doubled by September.

It is while the managing director of Pars Oil and Gas Company, Mousa Souri, said last month that 5 of the gas field's phases will come on stream by the end of the current Iranian calendar year (March 19, 2014), boosting the total output of South Pars up to 180 million cubic meters per day.

Iranian Oil Minster 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 the priority on boosting gas production capacity from its joint oilfields with Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

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 9,700 square kilometers, 3,700 square kilometers of which are in Iran's territorial waters (South Pars) in the Persian Gulf. The remaining 6,000 square kilometers, 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 percent of the world's reserves, and more than 18 billion barrels of LNG resources.

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