Iran to tap South Pars’ oil layer in 2 years

Oil&Gas Materials 4 March 2015 17:14 (UTC +04:00)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Mar. 4

By Khalid Kazimov - Trend:

Iran says that it will tap the oil layer of the South Pars field in two years after it buys and stations a ship specified for the job.

The news comes at a time when Qatar, which shares the field with Iran, is currently extracting 600 thousand barrels of the field's oil per day.

CEO of the Iranian National Oil Company Ruknoddin Javadi said that Iran has signed a contract on buying the floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel and has already made an advance payment for the vessel, Fars news agency reported March 4.

An FPSO unit is a floating vessel used by the offshore oil and gas industry for the processing of hydrocarbons and for storage of oil. An FPSO vessel is designed to receive hydrocarbons produced from nearby platforms or subsea template, process them, and store oil until it can be offloaded onto a tanker or, less frequently, transported through a pipeline.

The vessel will arrive 14 months from now and will be operational in 6 months after that, when the installation is done, he said.

Earlier, Moshaqali Gohari, Deputy Director of the Economic and Financial Feasibility Study of the Integrated Management Plans Center, had said that the company had made plans on developing the oil layer of the South Pars, aiming to produce 35 thousand barrels of oil a day.

He had added that over $1 billion had been allocated to fund the plan, with $420 million set aside for acquiring the FPSO vessel.

Iran's rival Qatar started tapping the field in the 1990s and is estimated to have extracted over 1 billion barrels of it so far.

On Feb. 21, Ali-Akbar Shabanpour, managing director of South Pars Oil and Gas Company, had said four projects, including the development of the South Pars gas field's oil layer would be offered to foreign companies.

The South Pars field has 14 trillion cubic meters of natural gas -or about eight percent of the world's reserves- and more than 18 billion barrels of liquefied natural gas resources.

The field 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 Gulf. The remaining 6,000 square kilometers, referred to as the North Dome, are in Qatar's territorial waters.

Iran's share of the gas field is divided into 29 phases, but just 10 phases are currently operational. No phases of the South Pars gas field have recently come on stream.

Edited by CN