Iran Inaugurates New South Pars Phases, But Ambitious Targets Look Unrealistic

As Iran looks forward to the removal of nuclear-related sanctions “within days”, it is trumpeting its continued progress at the supergiant offshore South Pars gas field. However, its ambitious goals for ramping up gas production appear unrealistic.

President Hassan Rohani inaugurated Phases 15 and 16 of the South Pars gas field on 11 January. Despite Iran’s huge gas reserves, it is a minimal exporter and frequently suffers winter gas shortages. Boosting output is thus a priority, and while recent successes are laudable, stated aims to complete South Pars development by 2018 are unrealistic.

The high profile ceremony was also attended by Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh and NIOC chief Rokneddin Javadi. Mr Rohani took the opportunity to praise his government for “running the country with the oil price as low as $30/B.” Moreover, he said that it demonstrated “Iranians’ strong determination and endeavor” in the face of international sanctions.


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