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Iran has discovered a new gas field close to the giant offshore field South Pars in the Persian Gulf, Iranian media reported on Wednesday, quoting an unnamed official with the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC).
According to Press-TV the field, called Sepand, has 1.5 trillion cubic feet of sweet gas, of which about 792 billion cubic feet could be recoverable.
The new field is independent from South Pars, which Iran shares with Qatar, the NIOC official told media. It is not yet clear if the newly discovered gas field is also shared with Qatar, according to the official.
“One of the most important features of the new field is that it has a wide horizontal natural gas structure,” the official was quoted as saying.
According to the NIOC representative, Iran would soon begin drilling an exploration well at the new field.
Just last month, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani announced the start of phases 17-21 at the South Pars gas field—a development stage worth US$20 billion. Rouhani told media that gas output from the field had reached 570 million cu m and that Iran had plans to overtake Qatar as gas producer.
Currently, Iran produces 885 million cu m of gas daily—almost the same as Qatar—but most of it is being consumed domestically. Oil fields need gas injections to increase output, so much of what Iran is producing from its gas deposits is being used to stimulate oil production. According to BP data, gas exports have yet to become viable given the current level of domestic natural gas consumption.
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Still, Iran has ambitions to become a major gas exporter, beginning with 50 million cu m daily to neighbor Iraq, as soon as the latter arranges payments for the exports.
According to the EIA, reserves at the South Pars field account for almost 40 percent of Iran’s total natural gas reserves, and the field is also estimated to hold 17 million barrels of condensate in place.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.