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EghtesadOnline: The first liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) consignment from the newly-launched South Pars Gas Field phases 17 and 18 will be exported in the coming weeks, the operator of the phases said.

"In line with policies to complete the value-added chain in oil and gas industries, butane and propane refining and storage units at phases 17 and 18 have become operational," Mohammadreza Chalipa was quoted as saying by Shana on Sunday.

LPG is made up of butane, propane or a mixture of both gases. It is second-best after natural gas delivered via trunk lines in terms of efficiency and is more eco-friendly compared to diesel or fuel oil.

"Close to 2,600 tons of LPG per day is being produced by phases 17 and 18," he said, adding that the first LPG cargo of the two phases is ready for shipment.

"Iran currently produces 8 million tons of LPG per year, but the volume will  double after all South Pars phases come on stream," Financial Tribune quoted Chalipa as saying.

According to the official, international economic curbs did not pose a major setback to Iran's share in the global LPG market, but "sanctions removal is an opportunity to expand our foothold."

Phases 17 and 18 have produced close to 20 million barrels of condensates since April. Gas condensate is a low-density mixture of hydrocarbon liquids that are present in the raw natural gas produced from gas fields.

Pointing to concerted efforts to curtail the flaring of natural gas in South Pars refineries, he noted, "Thanks to the environmentally-friendly gas compressors, the flaring of natural gas in phases 17 and 18 has been curbed considerably."

The phases were developed as part of a contract between the Industrial Development and Renovation Organization of Iran and the Iranian Offshore Engineering and Construction Company where the former was in charge of onshore engineering and purchasing equipment and the latter developed offshore platforms.

Phases 4,5 Output

According to Mohammad-Shafi Moazeni, director of the 3rd South Pars Refinery which receives natural gas from phases 4 and 5, more than 17 billion cubic meters of sweet gas was produced by the two phases in the fiscal year that ended in March. The phases also produced 24.5 million barrels of gas condensates, 636,500 tons of ethane and 87,000 tons of sulfur in the period, which were mostly exported.

He noted that daily ethane and LPG output in the 3rd Refinery stands at 2,400 and 3,200 tons respectively.

Moazeni added that the refinery's ethane output is supplied to Jam, Arya Sasol and Kavian petrochemical complexes to be converted to higher value-added products, such as ethylene and polyethylene.

South Pars is the world’s largest gas field shared between Iran and Qatar. Iran is developing the mega project in 24 phases. It reportedly provides more than two-thirds of the country's natural gas.

South Pars holds an estimated 40 trillion cubic meters of natural gas, or roughly 8% of the world’s reserves and approximately 18 billion barrels of condensates. It adjoins Qatar’s North Field that spans over 6,000 square kilometers.

South Pars South Pars Gas Field Mohammadreza Chalipa Iran LPG Iran LPG export