EghtesadOnline: Major overhaul operations in phases 17 and 18 of the giant South Pars Gas Field in the Persian Gulf has increased the output of liquefied petroleum gas, including propane and butane, as feedstock for petrochemical complexes, the head of the complex's seventh refinery said.
"The storage of propane in special units have started and operations to store butane is also underway," Hassan As'adi was also quoted as saying by ILNA on Wednesday.
"Regular maintenance has raised not only the quantity but also the quality of the products."
According to the official, as soon as routine repair work comes to an end, the production level of other commodities such as natural gas will experience a surge, Financial Tribune reported.
"Propane and butane storage units are equipped with domestically-manufactured pumps that facilitate their transfer for export purposes," he said.
Asked about other products, he noted without elaboration that ethane production from phases 17 and 18 has doubled after the overhaul operations.
Pointing to ethane output level in the seventh refinery at 3,050 tons per day, As'adi said, "Phases 17 and 18 play a key role in converting low value added oil commodities to added-value ones like ethane, propane and butane."
Highlighting major alterations in manufacturing technology, he said, "Theses two phases were designed to produce 2,550 tons of ethane per day. However, the current level is 20% ahead of the predicted plan."
According to As'adi, phases 17 and 18 have been 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 tasks and purchasing equipment, and the latter developed offshore platforms.
In addition to sweetening natural gas and separating gas condensates, the phases produce methane, a chemical compound widely used in petrochemical industries, as well as sulfur and ethane. Officials say there is a substantial need for ethane in Jam, Kavian, Morvarid, Pars and Arya-Sasol petrochemical plants, because of which expansion of production is on the agenda.
According to Masoud Hassani, the managing director of South Pars Gas Company, South Pars accounted for a substantial share (64%) in the country’s total gas output last year, which reached nearly 70% in the current fiscal, producing close to 550 million cubic meters of natural gas per day.
South Pars is the world's largest gas reservoir in the Persian Gulf shared between Iran and Qatar. It holds an estimated 51 trillion cubic meters of natural gas in place and some 50 billion barrels of gas condensates. The mega gas project is being developed in 24 phases, of which phases 11, 13, 22-24 are not complete yet. Mohammad Meshkinfam, managing director of Pars Oil and Gas Company, said last October that the project has registered a work-in-progress rate of 85% and the rest will be completed by March 2019. "More than $70 billion have been spent on the gas project over the last 15 years and the field requires between $20-30 billion in additional spending to become fully operational," he told POGC's website.