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EghtesadOnline: Crude production from the oil layer of South Pars in the Persian Gulf has resumed after FPSO Cyrus, the floating production, storage and offloading vessel on the hydrocarbon reservoir, had an accident last week.

"FPSO Cyrus, which had a minor collision with the [Panama-flagged] SOL tanker on Saturday due to bad weather conditions, has become operational again," Mohammad Hossein Daneshfar, a senior official at the Iranian Offshore Oil Company, was quoted as saying by Shana.

"The incident had caused slight damage to the vessel's body, hose and other offloading equipment, which was fixed by the company personnel in no time," he added.

Iran began to extract crude oil from South Pars in March 2016 using FPSO Cyrus, according to Financial Tribune.

"The vessel has since shipped over 9 million barrels of crude in 18 offloading operations," Daneshfar said.

An FPSO is a marine vessel, with processing equipment aboard the vessel's 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. 

The country currently draws an average of 25,000 barrels per day from the oil layer. Hopes are high to increase output to 55,000-60,000 barrels per day in the next phases of production from the hydrocarbon layer.

South Pars Oilfield is located in the center of Persian Gulf, about 130 kilometers off Iran's coast and adjacent to Qatar's territorial waters, holding an estimated 7 billion barrels of oil in place. The field is the northeastern extension of Al-Shaheen Oilfield in Qatar.

The small Arab neighbor, which started extracting oil from the field in 1991, has already drilled more than 300 wells with the help of international oil giants. It has reportedly extracted more than 1 billion barrels of crude from the joint field in the last 25 years.

--- SP Ethane 

Ethane production units in South Pars Gas Field's phases 20 and 21 have gone on full swing, Alireza Ebadi, director of the two phases, said.

"Construction operations of the phases' refineries have become complete, with the related refineries producing 2,400 tons of ethane per day," he added.

According to the official, the ethane output is supplied to domestic petrochemical facilities.

Ebadi noted that plans are on the agenda for overhauling the facilities next week to boost production.

"The nominal output is envisaged to reach 2,600 tons," he said.

Iran’s annual ethane production is currently 4.5 million tons, which will reach 6 million tons in a year and 10 million tons in three years. Domestic demand for ethane amounts to 5.5 million tons currently.

Ethane is the main feedstock of petrochemicals that help turn the strategic gas to ethylene.

Ethylene is the building block for a vast range of chemicals, from plastics to antifreeze solutions and solvents, and is also used in the agriculture sector for ripening fruits.

The country's annual output of ethylene stands at about 7.3 million tons.

Tehran aims to diversify its economy that is largely dependent on oil export revenues and make better use of its hydrocarbon reserves by producing petrochemicals with higher value-added.

 

--- Gas Output

Ebadi said over 56.6 million cubic meters of sour gas are currently extracted from the two phases every day.

"Its output is equal to the nominal capacity envisaged for phases 20 and 21," he said.

South Pars is divided into 24 standard phases. Most of the phases are fully operational. The country intends to raise daily gas production to 1.2 billion cubic meters by 2021 from the present 880 million cubic meters.

 

FPSO Cyrus South Pars Oil Layer Crude production