Iran Finds Sizeable Gas Reserves Off Hormozgan Coasts

BBC Monitoring via Comtex

Huge natural gas deposits have been discovered in Hormozgan province, off the Persian Gulf coast, with a probable output tantamount to ten phases of the South Pars gas field, the National Iranian Offshore Oil Company managing director said here on Monday, June 22.

Mahmud Zirakchainzadeh told the SHANA Oil and Energy Information Network that tapping the fields may boost Iran's daily natural gas production capacity by ten billion cubic feet, turning Hormozgan into the country's second gas hub.

NIOOC puts priority on the development of newly discovered gas fields in the Persian Gulf region," he said, adding that the produced gas will be supplied to domestic and foreign markets and will be used in production of liquefied natural gas as well.

He went on to say that huge investments have been made for the development of Hormozgan offshore gas fields and that the related contracts will come into force in the current year.

He referred to Abuzar oilfield located in Kharg Island in the Persian Gulf, saying recent studies show that the field's in-situ reserve should be one billion barrels more than the previously estimated figure of three billion barrels, according to Mehr News Agency.

Zirakchainzadeh said, "Abuzar is Iran's largest oilfield in the Persian Gulf region." He added, "Currently 30 percent of the field's crude deposit is recoverable, but the underway gas lift plan would raise the amount to 43 percent by March 2010."

In February, Abuzar field's output declined by 40,000 barrels per day due to a gas leak incident. Currently the field produces 140,000 barrels of crude per day, down 6000-7000 bpd in comparison to the period before the incident.

According to Oil and Gas Journal, Iran's 2008 estimated proven natural gas reserves stood at 948 trillion cubic feet, second only to Russia. Roughly two-thirds of Iranian natural gas reserves are located in non-associated fields.

BBC Monitoring. Copyright BBC.