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EghtesadOnline: Oil production from the offshore South Pars crude oil layer will begin next month with the help of Iran's first floating production, storage and offloading vessel, the FPSO Cyrus, managing director of the National Iranian Oil Company said on Saturday.

“The vessel, which is now anchored to the seabed, is being connected to 7 subsea wells," Ali Kardor was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.

"It is expected that connecting the wells to the FPSO via pipelines will take one month and as soon as this operation is complete, extraction will begin," Kardor noted.

Commenting on the output level, the official said the initial aim is to produce 25,000 to 35,000 barrels of oil per day in the first phase, Financial Tribune reported.

"Negotiations are underway with foreign firms to increase the production level to as much as 54,000 bpd in the second phase," he said, noting that at least 100,000 bpd can be extracted from the mega hydrocarbon reserve if it is developed further.

According to Hamid Bovard, managing director of the Iranian Offshore Oil Company, the oil layer of South Pars field, located in the center of the Persian Gulf and 130 km off the Iranian coast, and adjacent to Qatar's territorial waters, holds an estimated 14 billion barrels of oil in place.

 The small Arab neighbor, which reportedly started extracting oil from the field in 1991, has already drilled more than 300 wells with the help of international oil giants. It has extracted more than 1 billion barrels of crude from the joint field during the last 25 years while Iran is still trailing Qatar despite years of effort and investment.

An FPSO is a ship-shaped vessel, with processing equipment on the deck as well as hydrocarbon storage units.

After processing, an FPSO stores oil or gas before offloading periodically to shuttle tankers or transmitting processed petroleum via pipelines.

NIOC Ali Kardor South Pars Iran oil FPSO Cyrus