By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh has announced the possibility of signing a contract with a Chinese company to develop the 11th phase of the South Pars gas field.
He said that currently, negotiations are underway between the leaders of both sides, but it is still unclear how long these negotiations will continue.
In 2017, Total signed a contract to develop the 11th phase of the South Pars field with an initial investment of $1 billion, which marked the first major Western investment in the country's energy sector after the cancellation of sanctions in 2016. However, this company was forced to leave Iran after the U.S. threatened to impose sanctions on companies that do business in Iran.
Productivity of the South Pars gas processing plants will increase by more than 7 billion cubic meters due to a reduction in the period of their overhaul, Shana reported with reference to the managing director of the South Pars Gas Company (SPGC).
"Organized and accurate planning allowed us to shorten the repair period by 27 days compared with last year," said Hadi Hashemzadeh Farhang. The official said that every year during the first six months of the Iranian calendar year (beginning on March 21), the refineries of the giant South Pars field undergo reconstruction and major repairs, and, consequently, productivity drops.
He noted that last year this period was 201 days, and this year it was only 174 days, which means an increase in the processing capacity of the complexes by 7.4 billion cubic meters.
Hashemzadeh also said that mining at the field increased by 12 percent in the past Iranian calendar year (ended on March 20, 2019) compared with the previous year. The increase was due to the commissioning of new phases in the development of this giant gas field, which also allowed Iran to overtake Qatar in terms of gas production from the joint field.
He added that South Pars has 14 trillion cubic meters of natural gas and 19 billion barrels of gas condensate, which is equivalent to 50 percent of the country's total reserves and 8 percent of world gas reserves. The refineries of South Pars account for 74 percent of the gas produced in Iran.
The huge field that Iran shares with Qatar in the Persian Gulf covers an area of 9,700 square kilometers, 3,700 square kilometers of which, called the South Pars, are located in the territorial waters of Iran. The remaining 6,000 square kilometers, called the Northern Dome, are located in the territorial waters of Qatar.
On March 17, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani officially opened phases 13, 22, 23 and 24 of the South Pars gas field. With the discovery of these phases, for the first time, Iran’s gas production from the giant South Pars exceeded the production in Qatar.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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