Iran has offered 52 oil and gas development projects in addition to 18 exploration blocks at its Tehran IPC Conference, held last week, according to state backed petroleum news agency Shana.
The projects, estimated to be worth more than US$30 billion, include 29 new and currently producing oilfields and 23 gas developments, with onshore fields accounting for 34 of the projects, according to Shana.
The conference also heard details of a new Iranian Petroleum Contract (IPC), which will replace buyback deals. Under the IPC, National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) will set up joint ventures for crude oil and gas production with international companies which will be paid with a share of the output.
Iran is emerging for a period of increasingly tough international sanctions, following a 12-year stand off, after agreeing a deal with six world powers over its nuclear program.
Iran’s oil exports fell to an average 1.4 MMb/d last year, from 2.6 MMb/d in 2011, due to the sanctions on the country, according to US Energy Information Administration data.
The deal with western powers has been described as marking "a new dawn for Iran and its relationship with the west," as well as having the potential to bring an extra 1 MMb/d on to the global market.
Meanwhile, Iran will overtake Qatar in terms of producing gas from the huge offshore South Pars gas field, Iranian deputy oil minister stated.
Roknoddin Javadi, who is also the managing director of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), said Iran, which shares the field with Qatar, that Iran will bring seven new phases of the South Pars gas field online during the current year, which will cause an "exponential rise" in the country’s gas output, according to a statement by NIOC.
He added that when the new phases of the offshore gas field come on-stream, Iran's total production of natural gas will increase by 100 MMcu m/d.
Javadi said development of phases 15 and 16 of the gas field will finish before the end of the current Iranian calendar year (ends 19 March 2016), increasing gas output from those phases by 50 MMcu m/d.
"In addition, based on current plans, production of natural gas from phases 19, 20 and 21 of this joint field will begin during the current year," he noted.
Asked if Iran would be able to overtake Qatar in terms of gas production from the South Pars gas field as a result of these developments, the managing director of NIOC stated that when the ongoing development of the 24 phases of the South Pars gas field is complete, Iran would be producing 720-730 MMcu m/d gas from the field.
"At this level of production, Iran will certainly surpass Qatar in terms of daily production and treatment of gas from the field," he added.
Javadi stated that part of the South Pars’ gas will be consumed inside the country, but a larger part will be exported to regional and transregional markets through pipeline or as liquefied natural gas (LNG), according to NIOC.
During past years, Iran, which sits on the world’s largest gas reserves, has been making efforts to increase gas production by attracting foreign and domestic investment to South Pars gas field.
The huge offshore field covers an area of 9700sq km, 3700sq km of which are in Iran’s territorial waters in the Persian Gulf. The remaining 6000sq km are in Qatar’s territorial waters.
The field is estimated to contain a significant amount of natural gas, accounting for about eight percent of the world’s reserves, and approximately 18 billion barrels of condensate.
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