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Natural gas exports from the world’s biggest deposit, South Pars, rose by 12 percent over the past 12 months, according to Iran’s head of customs, as quoted by Reuters. Gas condensate exports also increased, by 28 percent in terms of value, to US$6.9 billion. In addition to these, the field’s operator Petropars exported methane, propane, and polyethylene.
Most of the exports went to Asia, including China, India, Indonesia, South Korea, and Japan, and the rest went to Egypt, the UAE, Kuwait, and Turkey.
South Pars lies in the Persian Gulf and Iran, and Qatar—which calls its portion the Northern field—share its wealth. Petropars was in charge of the first ten phases of development in Iran’s 3,700 sq km section of the deposit, which is est6imated to hold 14 trillion cu m of natural gas and 18 billion barrels of condensate. This amount represents 7.5 percent of global gas reserves and 50 percent of Iran’s reserves.
Earlier this year, French Total inked a deal with Tehran for the 11th phase of development of South Pars. In June, the company said it will commit US$1 billion to the development of the South Pars offshore gas field in Iran, after the U.S. extended a sanction waiver. In an interview with Reuters, CEO Patrick Pouyanne said that “The U.S. waivers have been renewed and they will be renewed every six to eight months. We have to live with some uncertainty.”
Total took part in the initial development of South Pars back in the 1990s, but was forced out of the country when international sanctions were imposed on Tehran on suspicions that it was developing nuclear weapons. Now the company is back for the Phase 11 of the field’s development, estimated to cost some US$5 billion. It has a 50.1-percent stake in the field, partnering with China’s CNPC with 30 percent, and Petropars, which holds the remainder.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for the U.S.-based Divergente LLC consulting firm with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.