The long-awaited 2bn cfd capacity Phase-11 of Iran’s gigantic South Pars gas field is expected to begin production at 14mn m³/d (494mn cfd) by the end of the current Iranian year in March 2023 according to Karim Zubeidi, director of integrated planning at National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC). With sanctions preventing foreign firms from working in Iran’s upstream and TotalEnergies and CNPC quitting the project as a result, Tehran has entrusted NIOC subsidiary Petropars to deliver the project.

Whether Petropars will then be able to increase output up from the initial 494mn cfd towards the planned 2bn cfd plateau levels is unclear. Regardless, the addition of more gas comes at a crucial time. Iran claims nationwide output capacity of some 850mn m³/d (30bn cfd), but additional gas is needed just to counter natural decline which it pegs at 10bcm/year (967mn cfd) (MEES, 3 December 2021). (CONTINUED - 147 WORDS)