Iran Discovers Another Gas Field Worth $133B

TEHRAN (Dow Jones Newswires), Aug. 8, 2011

Hydrocarbon-rich Iran has discovered another gas field with reserves of 495 billion cubic meters, valued at $133 billion, the oil ministry's SHANA news service quoted an oil official as saying Monday.

"The new gas field has in spot reserves of about 495 billion cubic meters (17.5 trillion cubic feet) valued at $133 billion and is located east of Assalouyeh," National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) managing director Ahmad Qalebani said.

Assalouyeh, in the southern province of Bushehr, is the base for developing Iran's offshore South Pars field which Tehran shares with Qatar.

It holds an estimated 14 trillion cubic meters of gas (500 trillion cubic feet) or about eight percent of the world's total.

The Islamic republic, which has divided South Pars into 28 phases, has proven gas reserves of 33 trillion cubic meters second largest in the world after Russia.

Iran consumes almost all of the 600 million cubic meters per day of gas it produces, but hopes to double production and export 250 million cubic meters a day to its neighbors and Europe from 2015 by developing the giant South Pars field.

Tehran also announced Monday an increase of 17 million cubic meters in phase 10 of South Pars, SHANA reported.

"Gas production in phase 10 of South Pars has increased by 17 million cubic meters," said Moussa Souri, director of Pars Oil and Gas.

But the South Pars development has been delayed amid a lack of investment in a country faced with severe gas needs of its own and because of difficulties in procuring the required technology.

Iran's vital energy sector is one of the key areas targeted by world powers in sanctions imposed against Tehran for pursuing its controversial nuclear program.

Most Western and European energy firms have withdrawn or put on hold their investments in the country's energy sector.

Iran is the second largest producer within Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries at 3.7 million barrels per day, and has oil reserves of around 155 billion barrels.

Copyright (c) 2011 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.


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