|Iran to triple South Pars gas output by 2017: oil minister||
TEHRAN – Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh says the country will triple natural gas production at the South Pars gas field to one billion cubic meters per day in the next three years.
Iran is currently producing 320 million cubic meters (mcm) of gas per day at the South Pars gas field, he added.
The output will be increased by 100 mcm per day once the prioritized phases, namely phases 12, 15, 16, 17, and 18, come on stream this year, the oil minister added. He was referring to the current Iranian calendar year, which began on March 21.
The South Pars/North Dome gas field covers an area of 9,700 square kilometers, with 3,700 square kilometers of it, which is known as the South Pars gas field, in Iran's territorial waters in the Persian Gulf.
The remaining 6,000 square kilometers, i.e. the North Dome gas field, are in Qatar's territorial waters.
The Iranian gas field, which is divided into 29 phases, contains 14 trillion cubic meters of natural gas, about eight percent of the world's reserves, and more than 18 billion barrels of liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Iran still has world’s largest gas reserves: BP
Iran still possesses the world’s largest proven natural gas reserves, at 33.8 trillion cubic meters — or 18.2 percent of the world’s total proven reserves — according to a BP report published earlier this week, up from 33.6 trillion cubic meters at the end of 2012, when it overtook Russia.
BP’s “Statistical Review of World Energy” also showed that despite holding the world’s largest reserves, Iran only accounted for 0.5 percent of global natural gas production, at 166.6 billion cubic meters, in 2013.
In the wake of last November’s landmark deal between Iran and the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) on the country’s nuclear program, Iran is planning to accelerate the development of its gas industry and to raise output by developing its fields, in anticipation of the easing of more sanctions, which would allow foreign investment to flood in.
On Tuesday, Iran announced it would begin exporting natural gas from South Pars to neighboring Iraq next March, to supply three power plants in the country with 7 mcm per day, to be increased to 25 mcm later in the year and 40 mcm by 2020, according to a deal signed in July 2013.
The gas will be transported from the giant field to Iraq via a pipeline that is still under construction, but which could also be extended to other countries, such as Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon, in the future, Iranian Deputy Oil Minister Ali Majedi said on Tuesday.
In addition, Iran and Oman signed a $60 billion deal in March, according to which the Islamic Republic would supply the sultanate with 10 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year over a period of 25 years via a 1-billion-dollar, 260-kilometer pipeline, which will be built in the future.
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