Phase 12 of the giant South Pars gas field has been brought online in a ceremony involving Iranian president Hassan Rouhani.
Phase 12, described as the biggest phase of the development of the South Pars field, officially launched operation before the end of the current Iranian year (March 20), said the Iranian National Oil Company.
South Pars is the largest gas field in the world – sitting in shallow water in the Persian Gulf and shared between Iran and Qatar, which calls it the North field. South Pars accounts for about 40% of Iran's gas reserves, which are estimated to account for 17% of global gas reserves, according to the US Energy Information Association, as well as holding some 17 MMbbl condensate in place.
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said the US$7.5 billion Phase 12 will add more than 81 MMcm of sweet gas and 120,000 bbl gas condensate production, he added, not clarifying if this was a daily production figure.
Phase 12 is just the latest phase in the field's development, which already has phases 13-14, 15-16 and 17-19 plotted out and a total 29 phases envisioned. South Pars is estimated to contain 14 Tcm of gas, or about 8% of total world reserves. However, development of the field has been slow, largely due to international sanctions Iran has been under.
In February, Managing Director of South Pars Oil and Gas Company Ali Akbar Sha'banpour said of Phase 12: "Its area, and respectively production capability, is three times greater than the regular phases of the offshore field."
Sha'banpour said that Phase 12 exploits 84 MMcum from the seabed and after separating its gas derivatives, injects some 75 MMcum of sweet gas to the trans-Iranian gas pipeline network.
According to Sha-banpour, three main derricks and one satellite derrick are installed for Phase 12. Implementing the project took 110 months, equal to nine and a half years.
Iran's 51% share in production of the required facilities for construction of the oil and gas facilities needed in the South Pars field has increased to 66% in construction of the wide-scale Phase 12, Sha'banpour added.
Zanganeh added: "This phase is considered the most tremendous project in the history of oil industry, which has been completed through nonstop work and endeavor of Iranian experts in South Pars gas field. The capital of US$7.5 billion has been invested in the project, and we are hopeful for the rest of the phases to proceed with an appropriate pace."
Image: An earlier phase on South Pars.