Gallery: Phase 11 of giant gas field in Persian Gulf to bring Iran up to $5 billion annually
National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) and its subsidiary, Pars Oil and Gas Company (POGC), have completed the installation of the much-anticipated South Pars (SP) Phase 11 platform in the Persian Gulf. This was done in collaboration with Petropars Company and Iranian Offshore Engineering and Construction Company (IOEC).
Back in November 2022, Shobeir Nabavi, the deputy head of POGC’s Reservoir Operations Engineering Unit, revealed that permits were obtained for the drilling of 35 new wells in the South Pars field over the next two to three years. The field is estimated to contain 410 trillion cubic feet of gas on the Iranian side. The daily gas production capacity at the time was about 700 million cubic meters per day and was expected to increase to 730 million cubic meters per day with the commissioning of the South Pars Phase 11.
The 3,200-ton South Pars Phase 11 platform was installed at the end of June 2023 with the Oceanic-5000 Crane Barge. This is believed to be the heaviest platform in the South Pars gas field. The gas production from this phase, which is starting after 20 years, is expected to be up to 15 million cubic meters per day (mcm/d) in the first stage and gradually reach 50 mcm/d.
Javad Owji, Iran’s Oil Minister, expects annual revenue from the South Pars Phase 11 to be around $4- $5 billion. The South Pars field – shared with Qatar, where it is known as the North field – is considered to be the world’s largest offshore gas field and contains highly sour gas that, as a result, is corrosive in nature and all wells being drilled on the field require very high grades of nickel alloy OCTG tubing – for instance, Alloy 28 grade.
Mohsen Khojastehmehr, NIOC’s CEO, disclosed earlier this year that a $160 billion investment was needed to boost Iran’s production capacities by 50 per cent, increasing oil production capacity to 5.7 million barrels per day and gas production capacity to 1.5 billion cubic meters per day.
A few months later, Khojastehmehr revealed 16 new exploration blocks to be awarded to the oil and gas players, which together with the previously offered ten exploration blocks add up to 26 in total. As a result of Iran’s efforts to ramp up its oil and gas output, Alireza Mehdizadeh, IOOC’s CEO, anticipates that the country’s production in the Persian Gulf will rise by around 10,000 barrels per day (bpd) by mid-March 2024.
Another field, which is shared with Qatar and expected to enable Iran to achieve its increase in production, is the Bilal gas field, located east of the South Pars gas field in the Persian Gulf. In November 2022, one appraisal well was being drilled in the offshore part of this field while seven more wells were also planned in the future to bring gas production to 14.1 million cubic meters per day.
Recently, Farrokh Alikhani, Petropars’ CEO, announced that the Balal field would come on stream within the next two years. While IOEC is in charge of building the field’s platform, the jacket will be built by Iran Marine Industrial Company (SADRA). This jacket is slated for delivery by mid-March 2024 and the gas extraction from the field is anticipated to reach 500 mcf/d.