Helium extraction from South Pars on agenda

March 11, 2022 - 11:54

TEHRAN- The managing director of National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) said that the company plans to start extraction of helium from South Pars gas field (Iran shares with Qatar in the Persian Gulf) in the next Iranian calendar year (starts on March 21).

“Helium gas is rare in the world and has special uses. The field that has the most helium gas in the world is South Pars, and we plan to start work on the extraction of helium gas in 1401, which is done for the first time”, Mohsen Khojasteh-Mehr explained.

He also expressed hope that South Pars phase 11 will be developed in the next year.

In mid-January, the official had said that digging operation has expedited in phase 11.

Khojasteh-Mehr said, “Developing and completing phase 11 is among the main priorities of NIOC. We are now in the stage of digging wells in this phase and some part of gas extraction from phase 11 will start in the next [Iranian calendar] year”.

Of course, some measures were made that gas extraction will start sooner than previously planned, the official highlighted.

Also, Seyed Shamsedin Mousavi, the managing director of Iran’s Petropars Company, which is in charge of developing phase 11, has said the company is going to take all the necessary measures to complete the first part of the mentioned phase’s development project by the third quarter of the next Iranian calendar year (starts on September 23).

Earlier in January, Petropars’ former Managing Director Hamidreza Masoudi had announced the implementation of two new contracts which would accelerate the development of the mentioned phase.

According to Masoudi, the mentioned deals were concerned with the construction of an off-shore pipeline as well as the installation of the phase’s SDP11B platform.

“The engineering, procurement and implementation activities corresponding to these two contracts have officially started since the beginning of the current [Iranian calendar] month [December 22, 2021]),” Masoudi said at the time.

When fully developed, the South Pars phase 11 project will have a production capacity of two billion cubic feet per day or 370,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. The produced gas will be fed into Iran's gas network.

Iran had previously awarded the development of phase 11 project to a consortium comprised of France’s Total, China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), and Petropars which is a subsidiary of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), however Total and CNPCI pulled out of the project in 2019 due to the U.S. sanctions.

Currently, Petropars is developing the phase 11 project after its partners left the contract.

The drilling operation for the first well of mentioned phase was officially started in December 2020. In the early production stage, the output of this phase will reach 500 million cubic feet (equivalent to 14 million cubic meters) per day.

South Pars is the world’s largest gas field, covering an area of 3,700 square kilometers of Iran’s territorial waters.

The giant 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. The field is divided into 24 standard phases.


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