The South Pars gas field, located in the Persian Gulf between Iran and Qatar, is one of the largest independent gas reservoirs in the world. The estimated 14tcm of gas and 18 billion barrels of gas condensates on the Iranian part of the field constitute around 8% of the world’s gas reserves and are being produced in no fewer than 24 phases, as the National Iranian Gas Company’s Hedayat Omidvar explains.
The South Pars gas field covers an area of 9700km2, of which 3700km2 belongs to Iran. Precise and sophisticated projects have been designed with 24 phases planned to produce 820mmcm/d of gas. Through this development, the South Pars gas field will be able to meet the growing demands for natural gas, gas injection, and gas and condensate export as feedstock for petrochemical industries.
As a result, Assaluyeh and Tombak ports, some 270km and 220km southeast of Bushehr respectively, were selected as onshore locations for the construction of onshore installations of the phased development of this field. Pars Special Economic Energy Zone (PSEEZ) was established in 1998 to accommodate South Pars related refining facilities and various activities in the oil, gas and petrochemical upstream and downstream industries and also to render support services to these industries.
The in-progress development phases of South Pars gas field mainly consist of offshore facilities, products transfer pipeline to onshore facilities, onshore facilities, gas transfer pipelines to the overall networks, and export facilities for exporting gas condensate, LPG and sulfur. To support these activities, the Pars Oil & Gas Company has constructed roads, dams jetties and ponds among other projects.
The South Pars gas field development project is implemented in two sites as follows: Assaluyeh and Nakhl-e-Taghi for site one, with Tombak, 60km west of Assaluyeh as site two.
Phases 1-10 have been implemented, and the eleventh phase – aimed at supplying sour gas to the Pars LNG unit – is in progress. Under phase 11, the goal is to produce 2bcf/d of natural gas, extract 1.9bcf/d of sour gas to feed LNG units and extract 70,000b/d of heavy condensate. To achieve the goals of the phase, the development scheme includes two production platforms to serve 20 wells, two 32in offshore pipelines to transfer sour gas to the mainland, two 4.5in MEG transfer pipelines, subsea fiber optics lines to establish communication between the offshore and onshore facilities and the other phases of South Pars, as well as a gas condensate transfer pipeline and single point mooring to load and export the produced condensate.
The buy-back contract for development of this phase was awarded to a joint venture of Total and Petronas.
The development project for phase 12 is designed to produce 3bcf/d gas from the reservoir and produce 78mmcm/d of natural gas to be injected into the sixth Iranian Gas Trunk Line (IGAT6) or to be partly delivered as rich sour gas to the liquefaction units (Iran LNG) as well as daily production of 110,000b/d of heavy condensate. Offshore facilities will include three standalone platforms each equipped with a dozen wells to produce 1bcf/d of gas; three-phase test separator (gas, condensate and water) for testing the wells; two three-phase separators (gas, condensate and water) for water separation; oily water treatment unit for removal of pollutant oil before being discharged to the sea; flare tripod platform 160m from the main platform for emergency de-pressurizing; three 32in 135km pipelines to transfer produced gas to refinery; and three 4.5in glycol transport lines.
Phases 13 and 14 will be designed to provide Persian LNG unit with sour feed gas. The project’s specifications include production of 3bcf/d of gas from South Pars, production of 2.8bcf/d of sour gas to feed the LNG units and extraction of 105,000b/d of heavy condensate. The development contract for these phases has been awarded to a JV of Shell and Repsol.
Offshore facilities will include four production platforms served by 44 wells; two 32in, 135km gas transport pipelines to transfer gas to the onshore refinery; a 32in, 128km gas transport pipeline to transfer gas to the onshore refinery; four 4.5in glycol transfer pipelines; and a 20in, 6km inter-platform gas transport pipeline in phase 14. The onshore facilities of this project will be constructed 135km from offshore facilities in the PSEEZ.
Phases 15 and 16 are intended to produce 50mmcm/d of gas, 80,000b/d of gas condensate, and 1 million tons/year of LPG. Development plans call for two production platforms with 24 wells; two 32in, 100km subsea pipelines; two 4.5in, 100km pipelines for transferring MEG and gas sweetening units; and related utilities.
Implementation of phases 15 and 16 was awarded to Gharargah Khatam-ol Anbia as the consortium leader; and the onshore project is awarded to a joint venture of Iranian Offshore Engineering and Construction Company (IOEC), SAFF and ISOICO.
The executive operation of these phases began in July 2007.
The development of phases 17 and 18 will produce 50mmcm/d of natural gas, 80,000b/d of gas condensate and 1 million tons/year of LPG. The onshore facilities of this project will be constructed in Assaluyeh region, some 100km from South Pars gas field. The offshore facilities of this project include four drilling platforms with 44 wells, two subsea 32in pipelines for transferring the gas, and two 4in pipelines for glycol transfer. The executive operation of these phases started in July 2007.
Phases 19-21 are intended to produce 80mmcm/d of treated gas for domestic consumption, produce 1.6 million tons/year of LPG for export, and produce 120,000b/d of condensate for export. The scope of work for these phases includes construction and installation of five wellhead platforms; the drilling of 37 production wells; the installation of three 36in, 135km subsea pipelines; the installation of three 4.5in 135km piggyback lines; two 18in subsea pipelines to link the platforms of phase 19; construction of a standalone gas treating refinery in PSEEZ Site 2, near Kangan Port in Bushehr Province; and installation of condensate export mooring buoy.
The final portion of the South Pars development, phases 22-24, calls for daily production of 75mmcm/d of gas for domestic consumption, production of 800,000 tons/year of LPG for export, and 55,000b/d of condensate. The work scope includes construction and installation of three wellhead platforms; the drilling of 29 production wells; the installation of a 42in, 135km subsea pipeline and 4.5in 135km piggyback line; and construction of a standalone gas treating refinery in PSEEZ Site 2 in Tombak.
Phase 1 is producing 25mmcm/d of natural gas and 40,000b/d of gas condensate; it went onstream in October 2004. The phase 1 offshore facilities are located 105km from Assaluyeh port and include two platforms with 12 wells, a process platform, a residential platform with the capacity to accommodate 92 people, 18in subsea pipeline about of 5.5km long for transferring gas from production platform to process platform, a 32in subsea pipeline about 105km long for transferring gas and gas liquids to the onshore refinery, a 30in export pipeline about 3km long and an SBM terminal. Gas and gas condensate are transferred through a two phased method. The contract lump sum was $780 million. Petronas won the buy-back development project for phase 1 of South Pars in January 1998.
The phase 2 and 3 projects were designed to produce 50mmcm/d of natural gas and 80,000b/d of gas condensate. The contract for developing phases 2 and 3 went to South Pars Total Group (40%), Gazprom and Petronas (30% each). The refinery came into fruition in January 1993. The development scenario saw gas and gas condensate being transferred from the offshore platforms to the onshore refinery through three phases. Two gas production platforms have recovery from 20 wells, two 32in subsea pipelines transfer gas to the onshore refinery and two 4.5in MEG injection pipelines complete the development. The lump sum contract was valued at $2 billion.
Phases 4 and 5 were designed to produce 50mmcf/d of natural gas and 80,000b/d of gas condensate to two production platforms with 24 wells. Two 32in pipelines transfer the gas to the onshore refinery and two 4.5in pipelines transfer glycol. The development work went to a consortium of Eni of Italy (60%), Petronas of Malaysia (20%) and NIOC (20%) in July 2000 and the refinery went onstream in April 2005. Additional production includes 105,000 tons/year of LPG. The lump sum contract was valued at $192 million.
Phases 6-8 were designed to produce 104mmcm/d of gas 158,000b/d of gas condensate and 1.6 million tons/year of LPG from the reservoir, which is going through its final construction steps. In July 2000, the contract for developing phases 6, 7 and 8 of South Pars gas field went to Petropars; the first stage of this project went onstream in early 2008. The gas is transferred to the Aghajari oil field in Khuzestan province via a 512km pipeline to be injected into the oil wells to enhance the recovery coefficient of the field.
Additionally, the objectives of the three phases are to produce 158,000b/d of condensate and produce 1.6 million tons of LPG for export. To meet the objectives, the development scenario includes three production platforms served by 30 gas wells, three 32in submarine pipelines about 105km long for transferring gas to the onshore refinery, three 4.5in glycol transfer pipelines, one SBM terminal for exporting gas condensate and a 5.4km 30in pipeline for transferring gas condensate to the SBM.
Phases 9 and 10 were designed to produce 56mmcm/d of natural gas, 80,000b/d of gas condensate, and 1 million tons of LPG. The project is being implemented.
Serving the phases are two offshore gas production platforms with 24 gas wells, some 105km from the main land; two 32in submarine pipelines for transferring gas to the onshore refinery; and two 4.5in glycol transfer pipelines. The development of these phases was awarded to a joint venture of GS of South Korea, Oil Industries Engineering & Construction Company and IOEC, in September 2002. OE
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