TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said over $14 billion from the country’s National Development Fund has been allocated to oil, gas and petrochemical sectors to partially make up for years of under-investment due to US-led sanctions against Iran.
Announcing the news in an international economic conference in Tehran on Sunday, Zanganeh said, “The oil ministry’s policy is to determine projects with high priority to become operational through attracting local and foreign investment.”
Earlier on October 23, Managing Director of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) Roknoddin Javadi said some $25 billion should be ploughed into the country’s South Pars gas field for all its remaining phases to come on stream.
“Completion of development projects of the entire phases (of South Pars) takes some 2 years, and besides the need for paying particular attention to the time limits, it requires nearly $25 billion in investment,” he said at the time.
He also emphasized the need for completion of the giant gas field within the shortest possible time span, noting that every single day of delay in completing the project costs the country some $100 million in lost revenues.
“This is a large sum, so we should not waste any time and act in a quick, responsible manner,” Javadi stressed.
Meanwhile, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh had earlier asked his organization to focus efforts on development of phase 12 of the country’s South Pars gas field, a decision that realigns priorities for the giant offshore gas field.
Zanganeh made the decision after he realized that 4 of the 5 phases with top priorities in South Pars gas field, namely Phases 15-18, will not come on stream before wintertime, when the country will be in growing need of natural gas for heating.
The oil ministry’s new plan is to develop Phase 12 as soon as possible, as it can produce more than 14 million cubic meters of gas from at least 6 and at most 12 of its wells before the start of cold season.
Development of phase 12 of South Pars gas field is 92.6% complete and its sour gas will be delivered to its refinery for processing as of next month.
The South Pars gas field, whose development has been divided into 28 phases, is located in the Persian Gulf straddling the maritime border between Iran and Qatar. It is estimated that the Iranian section of the field contains 14 trillion cubic meters of gas and 18 billion barrels of condensates in place.
South Pars is part of a wider gas field that is shared with Qatar. The larger field covers an area of 9,700 square kilometers, 3,700 square kilometers of which are in Iran’s territorial waters (South Pars) in the Persian Gulf. The remaining 6,000 square kilometers, referred to as the North Dome, are in Qatar’s territorial waters.
Development of the offshore South Pars field is of vital importance to Iran, both politically and economically. Natural gas production from South Pars is critical to meet increasing domestic consumption and to meet Iran’s current and future export obligations.
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