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EghtesadOnline: Gas output from the giant South Pars field in the Persian Gulf is set to rise by 90 million cubic meters per day by the end of the present fiscal year in March, taking production closer to that of Qatar.

Iran currently draws 480 mcm/d of gas from South Pars which it shares with Qatar, but "output from the joint field will reach 570 mcm/d by the (Iranian) yearend", Mohammad Meshkinfam, managing director of Pars Oil and Gas Company (POGC) said, Mehr News Agency reported on Monday.

According to latest reports, the tiny Arab neighbor is pumping 650-700 mcm/d from the joint field which is known as the North Dome in Qatar's territorial waters.

Officials have reiterated over the past year that Iran will catch up with Qatar's gas production in early 2017 as new South Pars phases come o stream, Financial Tribune reported.

Meshkinfam said that output will initially reach 540 mcm/d "in a few weeks" once two pipelines connecting the offshore platforms of phases 16 and 19 are back into operation. The pipelines reportedly have been damaged for hitherto unknown reasons.

President Hassan Rouhani is expected to officially launch phases 17-21 of South Pars next month. Once fully operational, the five phases will boost gas production by 150 mcm/d.

Output from South Pars has soared by 250 mcm/d over the past three and a half years. In the previous fiscal year alone, South Pars output increased by nearly 100 mcm/d.

Tehran is also trailing Doha in terms of oil extraction from South Pars. The Arab state, which started extracting oil from the field in 1991, has already drilled more than 300 wells with the help of international oil giants. 

Tehran hopes to tap into the field's crude oil reservoirs next month, with production set to begin at 30,000-35,000 barrels per day.

South Pars Iran gas Mohammad Meshkinfam Iran gas fields Iran gas output