Two massive Iranian petroleum projects with an investment of $2.7 billion have come on line in a fresh blow to US sanctions targeting the country’s energy sector.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani used a video conference call on Monday to inaugurate the project located in oil-rich regions in west and south of the country.
Rouhani’s website said the government had spent 1.441 billion euros ($1.74 billion) to ramp up oil production in Azar Oilfield, a reserve Iran shares with neighboring Iraq, to 65,000 barrels per day.
Iranian engineers have carried out a bulk of development works in Azar, located in the province of Ilam, where operations had stalled in recent years because of US sanctions on Iran.
Rouhani hailed Iranian engineers and technicians for successfully drilling oil wells in Azar that some of them had a depth of 4,800 meters.
The Iranian president also inaugurated a privately-owned petrochemical and refinery complex located in the province of Bushehr on the Persian Gulf coast. The facility enables Iran to increase its petchem feedstock production capacity by 2.5 million tons per year.
The two projects will create over 1,400 permanent jobs, mostly for local people, according to Rouhani’s website.
Rouhani also ordered the start of constructions works for Kian Petrochemicals, a giant plant in Bushehr for which around $4.12 billion will be invested by private owners.
The Iranian government has spent heavily to build out downstream petroleum industries in areas near the South Pars gas field, the world’s largest gas reserve which is located in the Persian Gulf and is shared between Iran and Qatar.
Iran is currently extracting over 750 million cubic meters per day of natural gas from the field, a bulk of which is supplied to households and businesses and the rest in fed into refineries and petrochemical plants.