Iran begins extraction of natural gas from offshore rig at South Pars

Press TV – Iran has officially started extracting gas from an offshore field in the Persian Gulf to add some 14.2 million cubic meters (mcm) a day to its current output of more than 800 mcm.

An Oil Ministry contractor said on Thursday that extraction had started overnight in the third drilling rig at phase 14 of the South Pars, the largest gas field in the world which is shared between Iran and Qatar.

Mohammad Mehdi Tavassolipoour said production from the 14B drilling rig would reach a full capacity of 14.2 mcm within the next few days, adding that the gas produced in the field will be transferred through a five-kilometer pipeline to a refinery in the adjacent Phase 12 of the South Pars.

“As cold season draws near and the country needs winter fuel, the 14B rig came on line based on a pre-existing schedule to meet a part of the growing demand for gas,” said the contractor.

The start of production at the new rig in the South Pars  would bring Iran’s output from the offshore section of the giant gas field to 42 mcm (1.5 billion cubic feet) a day. Total production from South Pars is planned to reach 650 mcm by March as Iran seeks to completely outdo Qatar in the shared gas field.

It comes nearly six months after Iran successfully installed the drilling rig, a super-size structure hailed at the time as a sign of Iran’s capability to counter the harsh American sanctions on the country’s energy sector.

Additional raw materials that would be obtained from gas production at the rig include some 20,000 barrels per day of condensates, some 100,000 tons a day of sulfur, 250,000 tons per year of liquefied petroleum gas and similar amount of ethane, said Tavassolipoour.