A view of phases 3 and 4 of the South Pars gas field in the southern Iranian port city of Asalouyeh
Iran's Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi says Iran has started oil production from the massive offshore South Pars oilfield, adding that crude output from the field will reach 30,000 barrels per day (bpd) by late March 2013.
Speaking on Monday, Qasemi put the total amount of Iran’s oil reserves at 154 billion barrels.
South Pars gas field, which also contains an oil layer, covers an area of 9,700 square kilometers, 3,700 square kilometers of which are in the Iranian territorial waters in the Persian Gulf. The remaining 6,000 square kilometers, i.e. North Dome, are in Qatari territorial waters.
Commenting on the Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project, the Iranian oil minister said construction is in its final stages and the plan will be fully operational in 2014.
The multi-billion-dollar gas pipeline aims to export a daily amount of 21.5 million cubic meters (or 7.8 billion cubic meters per year) of Iranian natural gas to Pakistan.
Maximum daily gas transfer capacity of the 56-inch pipeline -- which runs over 900 kilometers from Iran's southern port city of Asalouyeh in Bushehr Province to the city of Iranshahr in Sistan and Baluchestan Province -- is estimated to hit 110 million cubic meters.
Iran has already constructed more than 900 kilometers of the pipeline on its soil.
The Islamic Republic sits on the world's second largest natural gas reserves after Russia.