TEHRAN August 23 (Shana)–Iran’s Petroleum Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh has said that the country’s oil production is forecasted to reach 4.7 mb/d in the coming three years.
“Iran’s oil production will reach 4.7 mb/d in three years, 700,000 b/d of which will come from joint fields,” Zanganeh said on state television.
“Iran’s enhanced crude oil production capacity is in harmony with the country’s economic macropolicies,” he said.
Zanganeh said Iran is also to see growth in its gas condensate production in three years, adding: “Gas condensate production will reach 1mb/d with the operation of Phase 17 of South Pars [gas field] as well as Kangan, Tabnak and Parsian gas condensate [facilities].”
The minister said Iran’s oil and gas condensate production capacity will reach 5.7 mb/d in three years. He insisted that this objective could be realized.
He added that such a production capacity will boost Iran’s OPEC status.
Regarding the giant offshore South Pars gas field development, Zanganeh said: “Phase 12 of South Pars is producing at full capacity. Meanwhile, two trains of Phase 15 are producing sour gas. Phase 16 is to start up soon and its platform will become operational in months.”
He said the offshore section of Phase 18 of South Pars is being completed and noted that numerous offshore platforms are to be installed this year.
“This year and next year, 200 mcm of gas will be added to the country’s production capacity,” he said.
Zanganeh said the current calendar year to March 2015 and the following year will each see 100 mcm/d gas production hike.
The minister said all phases of South Pars are hoped to come on-stream in three years, adding that phases 13, 20&21, 19 and 22&24 are next priority projects of Petroleum Ministry.
These phases, he said, are to produce gas for domestic consumption, feeding industries, exports and electricity exports.
Persian Gulf Refinery 75% Complete
Zanganeh said euro-4 gasoline, whose distribution started in Tehran last year, continues to be distributed in more big cities.
He said that development of Persian Gulf Star Refinery, which had been halted for some problems, has restarted.
The minister said the facility should have become operational several years ago, adding: “Persian Gulf Star Refinery is significant from two aspects. First, with this refinery, Iran will reach self-sufficiency in gasoline production for long years. Second, euro-5 gasoline will be produced in the country.”
Zanganeh said this refinery’s gasoline production capacity is 36 ml/d.
“Gasoline consumption in Iran is currently 70 ml/d, 63 ml/d of which is produced domestically with the rest being procured through imports,” he said.
“With the completion of Persian Gulf Star Refinery, the country’s [gasoline production] capacity will increase by 60 percent of the current production. Moreover, the quality will be high,” he said.
Zanganeh said this refinery, which has three 120,000-barrel trains, is 75 percent complete.
“Our short-term goal for launching the first unit of this refinery, I don’t mean full operation [to produce gasoil, kerosene, liquefied gas and oil] is for the first half of the next [calendar] year. The following trains will start up afterwards,” he said.
Zanganeh said Persian Gulf Star Refinery is the most important strategic project in the country, after South Pars gas field development.
The minister said more than 12 ml of gasoline will be produced from this refinery next year, adding that the train-2 of the refinery is hoped to start up next year.
He said the refinery will fully come on-stream in the calendar year starting March 2016 to allow export of gasoline, gasoil, kerosene and fuel oil.
Zanganeh stressed the need for feedstock supply to petrochemical plants in the country, saying operation of new phases of South Pars and the ensuing production of ethane and methane are hoped to provide sufficient feedstock to petrochemical plants.
He said Iran’s Petroleum Ministry feels obligated to deal with the problems of petrochemical plants which are all privately owned.
Zanganeh said finance is the main challenge for some petrochemical projects, adding: “Efforts will be made for resolving the problem for some of these companies with Chinese finance. The rest will be resolved with the help of National Development Fund.”
New Refining Projects
Zanganeh said Iran’s gas condensates will be processed at Siraf Refining Park (which involves eight 60,000-barrel refineries) in four years, adding that no condensate will be exported then.
The minister said eight investors are to be picked from 20 candidates for building these refineries in three years.
He said Iran mulls projects for heavy crude refining in order to stop crude oil selling, adding that a project is being envisaged in Jask or Bandar Abbas in southern Iran for that purpose.
Zanganeh said development of petrochemical plants will be the most important measure for ending crude oil selling.
“To that effect, six to eight major petrochemical plants are to be constructed across the country to transform natural gas to plastics by using new technology,” he said.
Zanganeh said downstream petrochemical parks will be also established to create jobs and value-added.
The minister said Iran faced restrictions in gas production in the last calendar year, adding that petroleum products had to suffer pressure. He said 27 billion liters of petroleum products, valued at 18 billion dollars, were burnt in power plants.
Zanganeh said operation of new phases of South Pars will make up for gas shortage in the country, adding that liquid fuel consumption in the power plants has fallen 54 percent this year due to increased gas supply to them.
Zanganeh said Iran’s Petroleum Ministry is currently operating more than 60 billion dollars of projects.
Zanganeh said the most logical way of selling oil to the private sector would be through stock markets.
“In the past one year, crude oil and gas condensate were both sold on Energy Exchange,” he said.
“If assurances are given that potential buyers will supply the oil they purchase to crude oil refineries in the country, Petroleum Ministry is ready to sell oil to them at 95 percent of Persian Gulf FOB prices,” said Zanganeh.
He said the law requires oil prices to equal the Persian Gulf FOB rates unless the oil is to be used in domestic refineries.
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