Iran Launches Delayed South Pars Phase 6

Dow Jones Newswires

TEHRAN (Dow Jones Newswires), October 21, 2008

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad launched phase six of the giant South Pars gas field Tuesday after a two-year delay, state television reported.

Phase seven is due to go on line by the end of the year and phase eight in May.

The three phases will produce 104 million cubic meters of sour gas, 158,000 barrels of condensates and 4,450 metric tons of liquefied petroleum gas a day.

"The revenue from the exports of condensates will be $6 billion a year," the managing director of state-owned project developer Petropars, Gholam Reza Manouchehri, was quoted as saying.

The total value of all the products from the three phases amounts to $12 billion annually, said Manouchehri.

The project is a joint one between Iranian and foreign companies, including Norway's StatoilHydro ASA.

The South Pars field in the Gulf has reserves of around 14 trillion cubic meters, or some 8% of the world total.

It has been divided into 28 phases, one to five of which have already gone on stream.

Iran expects to launch phases nine and 10 by the end of its current calendar year on March 20, 2009.

Most of the gas is slated for injection into oil fields of the southern province of Khuzestan to compensate for low pressure, which cuts the oil recovery rate.

However, Iran's Oil Ministry has vowed that the new gas production projects this year will help cover domestic requirement in winter when the country has previously faced supply cuts due to high consumption.

Iran's gas production capacity is expected to reach 532 million cubic meters a day in winter, but officials have warned of a consumption rate of more than 700 million cubic meters in the period.

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