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Iran Seeks to Overtake Qatar in Gas Production

Iran will overtake Qatar in gas production by this time next year as Iran’s expands its operations in the Persian Gulf’s South Pars field, according to authorities in Tehran.

By March 2017, officials in Teheran say, Iran will have earned the number one position in this field, outdoing the Qataris in production.

The massive South Pars natural gas field in the Persian Gulf is shared by Iran and Qatar, and is the world’s largest gas field, with an estimated 1,800 trillion cubic feet (51 trillion cubic meters) of natural gas and some 50 billion barrels (7.9 billion cubic meters) of natural gas condensates.

Right now, Iran’s portion of the field provides the country with about 50 percent of its domestic gas needs.

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Since 20 March this year (the first month of the Iranian calendar year), over 1.338 million tons of gas-condensate have been exported from South Pars.

According to Iranian figures, Qatar produces around 177 billion cubic meters of gas from this field, while Iran currently produces around 132 billion cubic meters from its portion.

However, Iran’s got five new phase developments in the works here, and once they become operational, production will either equal or exceed Qatar’s, and that is expected to happen by the Spring of next year.

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So far, Iran has invested $50.5 billion into the development of phases 12 to 24 of South Pars, with five new phases of the gas field set to become operational by March 2017. One of the phases already implemented includes four platforms--each containing five 4,000-meter wells and 900-meter deep horizontal digs.

Iran has lagged behind Qatar from the beginning. While Qatar started drilling in South Pars in the early 1980s, Iran only launched operations here in the 2000s.

Overall, Iran expects gas condensates output from South Pars gas field will reach one million barrels per day.

By James Burgess of Oilprice.com

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