Task force to check on Iran South Pars field's progress

Iran Materials 7 May 2012 13:14 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, May 7/Trend M. Moezzi

A task force formed to track progress in Iran's joint South Pars oil and gas field will meet tomorrow.

Responsible for driving the joint oil and gas field's development forward at a more rapid pace, government officials will tour the construction being done on some South Pars phases in Assaluyeh, review funding needs and address any problems that may need to be resolved, Mehr news agency reports.

Iran shares the 9700 square kilometre South Pars with its Persian Gulf neighbour, Qatar who is far ahead in exploiting the field's resources. While Iran's progress on the field has lagged because of international sanctions and technical and financial problems, Qatar has intensified developing South Pars.

The petroleum task force's members are First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi, Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi, Minister of Economic and Financial Affairs, Seyed Shamseddin Hosseini; Minister of Industry, Mines and Trade, Mehdi Ghazanfari, the head of the Central Bank of Iran, Mahmoud Bahmani and Vice President for Strategic Planning and Supervision Ebrahim Azizi.

Forming a customs checkpoint at Assaluyeh, facilitating and speeding up funding from the National Development Fund, issuing permits to get several pieces of equipment out of customs are all items that will be addressed at the meeting.

The task force will likely fine contractors whose performance has been weak by reducing how much work they receive.

In 2010, Iran's government turned over eight phases of the South Pars field to a domestic consortium and gave them a 35-month deadline for developing the field. The consortium's contract stipulates that if the deadline isn't met, contractors will be fined approximately $50 million (USD) a month.

With half of the time allotted to develop eight phases of the field, the most progress has been made in phases 22 to 24.