25 May 2007 - 12:44
  • News Code: 105490
SP Phase 6 to Become Operational by June 5: Minister

TEHRAN – Iran’s Minister of Petroleum Seyed Kazem Vaziri-Hamaneh Friday announced that Phase 6 of South Pars (SP) field would come on stream by June 5.

Gas would be injected into Phase 6 of SP within next 15 days, said the minister, adding Phase 7 would start its production two months after the Phase 6 exploitation and Phase 8 would be put into operation in winter.

“The project is progressing rapidly as 76 percent of the operations has been done,” said Vaziri-Hamaneh, expressing hope the pipe-laying of phases 6-8 would be complete when the refinery in Aghajari was constructed.

He pointed to negotiations with the managers of phases 9-10 development plans, predicting Phase 9 would join the national gas grid by late December 2007.

The minister paid a visit to SP phases 6-8 and Mehr and Kavian petrochemical complexes and was briefed on the projects.

Managing director of Pars Special Economic Energy Zone said when all 28 phases of South Pars field came on stream, the field would fetch the country 40 billion dollars per annum.

Seyed Abdoljalil Razavi added that there were 4 million jobless people in the country and South Pars held good promises for job creation.

The official noted that the government of Iran had taken serious steps toward realization of projected investments in the region.

He stated that Qatar started to exploit the South Pars gas field in 1980 and had been helped by many countries while Iran was entangled in eight years of imposed war.

Qatar has thus far invested 70 billion dollars in the field but Iran has started investments in the region since 1994 and has, thus far, invested 35 billion dollars in South Pars region which is 30 hectares in area,” he said.

Razavi noted, “Due to vastness of Iran and Qatar’s activities, Iranian engineers should double up their efforts.”

Managing director of Pars Special Economic Energy Zone further stated that five gas refineries were currently operating in the region, which fetched 20 million dollars in benefit every day.

The official added that 190 billion rials (20.5 million dollars) had been allocated to various infrastructure projects in Bushehr Province during the previous calendar year (ended March 20, 2007).

Recalling his promise on inauguration of a petrochemical complex every month, the minister said Ghadir and Borzouyeh petrochemical complexes were ready, waiting for the presence of the president or a ranking official in their opening ceremonies.

Shifting to talks on development of North Pars gas field, he said, “We have held negotiations with the Chinese party and the studies show that the Chinese company has good capacity to do the job.”

The two sides were satisfied with their negotiations and were now discussing the signing of the contract, he added.

Iran and China finalized the negotiation and came up with an agreement on the development of the North Pars gas field in the Persian Gulf, said the Pars Oil and Gas Company’s (POGC) managing director last Friday.

Akbar Torkan added that POGC and China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) would ink the contract by August 31, 2007.

CNOOC has already signed a memorandum of understanding with National Iranian Oil Co. (NIOC) on upstream and downstream development of the gas field which has been defined in four phases. 

“According to the negotiations, the phases are to produce 20 million tons of LNG per year,” he said.

The North Pars gas field is located 85km north of the giant South Pars gas field in the Persian Gulf and has an estimated 80 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

Elaborating on Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) pipeline, Vaziri-Hamaneh said, “We are not aware of the outcome of latest Pakistan-India talks on gas transit cost. If the two states have reached an agreement on the issue, we will discuss the remaining topics of trilateral contract in Tehran next week.”

The topics of last round of IPL talks revolve around unsettled issues.

During his last month visit to Iran, India’s Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Murli Deora underlined the necessity to sign the contract on the peace pipeline by end of June.

Discussions between Iran, Pakistan and India over gas supply through the proposed pipeline are close to completion.

“The talks now hinge on agreement over the tariff to be charged by Pakistan for gas transported through its section of the pipeline for delivery at the Indian border,” said Deora.  

The minister said he did not expect there to be any major delays in signing a full sales and purchase agreement.

“The commercial agreement is nearly complete -- we are working very sincerely,” he said.

Deora said Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz had assured the Indian government during his early April visit to New Delhi that Pakistan’s tariff charges for Iranian gas to be supplied to India would be in line with international norms.

Asked how much India was prepared to pay for Iranian gas, Deora said the long-term nature of the sales contract would allow a price “around the $5 per one million BTU” level.

“We are working it out now. It’s a long-term agreement and it should be at a correct price. A price of $6 per one million BTU is definitely too high,” he said.

The tripartite pipeline is a proposed 2,775 km gas pipeline project to deliver natural gas from Iran to Pakistan and India. The project is expected to take three to five years to complete and would cost $7 billion.

The project is expected greatly benefit both India and Pakistan which do not have sufficient natural gas to meet their rapidly increasing domestic demand for energy. India is predicted to require 400 million cubic meters of gas per day by 2025, up from 90 million cubic meters per day in 2005.

The project was conceptualized in 1989 by Ali Shams Ardakani and R. K. Pachauri. Ardakani is a former top diplomat and deputy minister of mines and metals of Iran. Pachauri proposed the plan to both the Iranian and Indian governments in 1990. The government of Iran responded positively to the proposal.

At the annual conference of the International Association of Energy Economics, 1990, Ardakani backed Pachauri"s proposal.

The pipeline is proposed to start from Assalouyeh, a port city in southern Iranian province of Bushehr, stretching over 1,100 km in Iran itself. In Pakistan, it will pass through Baluchistan and Sind.



News Code 105490

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