Despite the crippling effect of sanctions on its economy, Iran wants to raise production at its giant South Pars gas field to 800mn cmd from the current output of less than 290mn cmd. The plan, which was outlined by the head of the Pars Oil and Gas Company, Mousa Souri, in the Iranian media, involves activating all 28 South Pars phases by March 2016 – two years earlier than the original timetable.

Currently Iran is producing gas from the first 10 phases of South Pars and hopes to start output from Phases 12, 17 and 18 by the end of the current Iranian year – before 20 March 2013. South Pars production has remained stagnant as sanctions have led to a shortage of finance and required the replacement of foreign companies, including Chinese contractors, by Iranian firms with less experience. (CONTINUED - 274 WORDS)