This file photo shows installations at South Pars Gas Field.
Iran is scheduled to start oil production from the giant offshore South Pars Gas Field as of the next Iranian calendar year beginning in March 2013.
Mousa Souri, the managing-director of Pars Oil and Gas Company (POGC), said on Sunday that drilling of the necessary wells for oil recovery from the massive gas field - shared with Qatar - will be fully completed by March next year.
The drilling of the appraisal wells in the oil layer of South Pars was commissioned to Iranian contractors in January. Based on a 180-million-dollar contract, Global Petrotech Kish (GPT Kish) was tasked with drilling two appraisal wells within 470 days in order to measure the amount of crude oil in the field and draw up a master development plan (MDP) for the oil layer, known as A2.
The development of A2 was commissioned to Petro Iran Company in March 2005 and so far roughly USD 500 million has been invested in this project.
The crude oil produced from A2 is estimated to reach 25,000 barrels per day (bpd). The layer has approximately 7.5 billion barrels of oil in place, 10 percent of which is recoverable.
Qatar is already recovering 450,000 bpd from the shared oil layer in South Pars.
South Pars covers an area of 9,700 square kilometers, 3,700 square kilometers of which are within Iran's territorial waters in the Persian Gulf. The remaining 6,000 square kilometers, i.e. the North Dome, are in Qatar's territorial waters.
The Iranian gas field contains 14 trillion cubic meters of natural gas (about eight percent of the world's reserves) and more than 18 billion barrels of liquefied natural gas (LNG) resources.