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EghtesadOnline: Domestic companies will start operations to develop Phase 11 of the South Pars Gas Field in the Persian Gulf in October, managing director of Pars Oil and Gas Company, a subsidiary of state-owned National Iranian Oil Company that oversees the development of gas fields said.

"We are willing to cooperate with China National Petroleum Corporation. But the project cannot be delayed further," Mohammad Meshkinfam was quoted Sunday as saying by the NIOC news portal.

French Total S.A. signed a $5 billion agreement in November 2016 to develop SP Phase 11(one of the least developed phases) as head of a consortium that included China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and Petropars.

After canceling the agreement to develop the field due to the mounting US pressure and new sanctions that forced international firms to walk away from Iran in 2018, the French energy company submitted the project's documents to its partner, CNPC, last October. "CNPC has been inactive so far," he said, adding that they have two more weeks to announce officially whether or not they want to join, Financial Tribune reported.

"Talks are going on with CNPC. But if they continue to procrastinate and defer on their decision, Petropars (the third stake holder) will start work in October," he added.

In 2014, Iran's Oil Ministry formally revoked the $2.5 billion development contract with CNPC due to a five-year delay and the company's persistent foot-dragging in relation to developing South Azadegan Oilfield in Khuzestan Province.

Referring to domestic potential and capability, the POGC official said firms like Petropars, a subsidiary of NIOC, can undertake offshore drilling and move gas to onshore refineries.

The firm had a role in developing South Pars phases 4-8, Phase 12 and Phase 19, according to the company's website. It was founded in 1998 to contribute to the development of vast energy resources and is one of the leading contractors in upstream oil and gas projects.

Meshkinfam went on to say that $80 billion have been invested in the giant gas field since 2001when the first well was drilled. Products (condensates, natural gas and other depravities) worth $270 billion have been extracted from the field in 18 years. 

"This barely accounts for 10% of the field's total capacity," he recalled.

South Pars constitutes 96% of liquefied petroleum gas, 100% of ethane and 55% of sulfur produced in Iran.

South Pars is the world’s largest gas field, shared between Iran and Qatar, covering an area of 3,700 square kilometers of Iran’s territorial waters in the Persian Gulf. It adjoins Qatar’s North Field that measures 6,000 square kilometers.



Farzad B and India 

Referring to another undeveloped field in the Persian Gulf, Meshkinfam said talks to develop Farzad B gas field are underway with an Indian consortium led by ONGC Videsh Ltd, the foreign investment arm of India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corp (OVL), but no decision has been taken.

NIOC is ready to sign a deal that has been plagued by delays, he concurred, adding that negotiations have been held with local companies and they are ready to play their part. He did not provide details.

New Delhi and Tehran are trying to settle differences over investments and the price of gas from Farzad B field since its discovery by Indian companies in 2008.

In the master development plan OVL submitted to Iran in 2018, it estimated the upstream part to cost $6.2 billion, while another $5 billion would be required to build a liquefied natural gas export facility. 

However, the proposal was considered too expensive and the Indian company agreed to only implement the upstream part of the field.

Farzad-B is estimated to hold more than 500 billion cubic meters of in-place gas reserves, of which 370 billion cubic meters are recoverable.


Iran South Pars Persian Gulf Total Gas field Petropars Pars Oil and Gas Company Phase 11 Operations Development Develop