EghtesadOnline: Iran's oil and gas condensates tanker traffic in the Persian Gulf terminals has risen by 50% compared to last year, managing director of Iran Oil Terminals Company (IOTC) said on Tuesday.
"Large vessels can now berth at gas condensate terminals without technical hurdles," Seyyed Pirouz Mousavi was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.
Pointing to the heavy traffic of tankers in the main southern terminals, Mousavi said most vessels belong to European oil majors namely France's Total, Italy's Eni, Russia's Lukoil as well as Asian buyers including China, Japan, South Korea and the UAE.
"As more South Pars Gas Field phases come on stream, condensates in increased volumes will be produced and exported," he said, noting that oil and gas terminals in the Persian Gulf are operating at full capacity to expedite exports, Financial Tribune reported.
According to the official, the equipment and facilities in the oil/gas terminals conform to international standards and foreign crude carriers can load oil and gas condensates with no impediment.
Asked about different ways of exporting gas condensates from South Pars, he said that three single-point moorings (SPM) as well as the Asaluyeh gas terminal supply condensates to the foreign vessels.
Highlighting the strategic project of renovation and overhaul of Asaluyeh floating gas terminals with the aim of boosting condensate export capacity, Mousavi said at least two large vessels with a storage capacity of 320,000 tons can berth simultaneously at the floating terminals.
The official noted that plans are in place to increase gas condensate deliveries in tandem with the rise in oil exports.
Gas condensate is a low-density mixture of hydrocarbon liquids that are present as gaseous components in the raw natural gas produced from natural gas fields.
According to Mousavi, condensate loading capacity from the southern terminals now stands at 2 million barrels per day, yet there is "enough potential to increase this export capacity."
Single-point mooring or SPM is a loading buoy anchored offshore that serves as a mooring point and interconnect for tankers loading or offloading gas or liquid products.
--- Higher Condensate Output
"Production of gas condensates in the South Pars Gas Complex exceeded 77 million barrels in the past five months of the current fiscal year that ends in March," Masoud Hassani, managing director of South Pars Gas Complex said, noting that of the total output, 62 million barrels was exported and the remainder sold to Iran's Borzouyeh Petrochemical Company, also known as Nouri.
Commenting on the National Iranian Oil Company's capability to deliver more gas condensates to new and traditional customers, Ali Kardor, head of the NIOC, said, "We are unlikely to sign new long-term oil contracts as long as we don't have access to the technology to ramp up production.”
According to Kardor, after meeting the needs of domestic refining companies, which is almost a million barrels per day, the rest of the daily crude oil output of around 3.8 million barrels is exported.
"Iran, OPEC’s third-biggest producer, now exports 2.3 million bpd plus 500,000 barrels of gas condensates," Kardor said.
"Iran has been very successful at ramping up crude production since the sanctions were lifted," said Julius Walker, senior consultant at research firm JBC Energy. "It is difficult to say whether they will be able to maintain or grow these levels further," media outlets quoted him as saying.