EghtesadOnline: Natural gas production from the giant South Pars Gas Field is scheduled to return to normal by the end of the present fiscal year in March, following a string of overhauls at the field's platforms and refineries.
Yahya Rashidi, deputy for operations and logistics at South Pars Oil Company, said Iran's output from the joint field with Qatar in the Persian Gulf "will reach 570.5 million cubic meters per day by the yearend", POGC's website reported on Tuesday.
Iran had reached that production level in April upon the launch of five South Pars phases as part of inaugurating $20 billion worth of energy projects.
Additional output from the new offshore phases helped Iran to catch up with Qatar's production rate from the world's largest gas field for the first time in more than a decade, officials said at the time.
According to Financial Tribune, Iran extracted close to 94 billion cubic meters of gas from the joint field with Qatar between March 21 and Oct. 22, or about 435 million cubic meters per day, an official at South Pars Gas Complex said last week.
Maintenance operations at South Pars facilities have reportedly dented supplies in recent months. According to reports, at least eight South Pars refineries were taken offline for maintenance operations in the last few months while major repairs at phases 9 and 10 were underway at least through the end of September.
Platts quoted informed sources as saying in September that unexpected disruption in an unnamed phase of South Pars had stretched maintenance activity at the field by two more months.
Rashidi said supplies from South Pars account for nearly two-thirds of Iran's total gas production. He added that 14 offshore platforms have come into operation under the administration of President Hassan Rouhani since 2013. Data show that Iran produces over 800 mcm/d of natural gas when its gas fields are operating at full swing.
The government hopes to ramp up gas output to 1.1 billion cubic meters per day in four years and eyes higher production from the field's oil layer.
Iran hopes to complete all South Pars phases by March 2019, a target that officials say requires between $20 billion and $30 billion in investment.
French energy firm Total became the first company to put its weight behind the South Pars venture after the lifting of nuclear sanctions in Jan. 2016. The world's fourth-largest oil and gas company has agreed to invest about $5 billion in an offshore South Pars phase in collaboration with Chinese and Iranian partners.
Iran hopes to attract more international companies to invest in South Pars alongside a spate of oilfield projects, as it sees its petroleum industry in need of $200 billion in spending.