Iran has finally brought on line a major refinery project that runs on natural gas extracted from South Pars, the world’s largest gas field located in the Persian Gulf, which is shared between Iran and Qatar.
Iranian deputy oil minister Mohsen Khojasteh Mehr said on Thursday that a first section of the refinery working on gas from Phase 14 of South Pars had been launched successfully on March 14 after the facility started receiving raw sour gas from the field.
Khojasteh Mehr said that the refinery is currently processing 14.2 million cubic meters (500 million cubic feet) of natural gas and around 10,000 barrels of condensates per day.
The refinery will reach maximum capacity of over 56 million cubic meters with the launch of the three remaining sections over the calendar year to March 2023, he said.
The South Pars Phase 14 Refinery is the last of onshore projects operating for the giant gas field. Iran has almost entirely relied on home-grown capacities to develop South Pars after international companies like France’s Total and China’s CNPC abandoned multi-billion dollar projects in the field in 2018 under the pressure of American sanctions.
The planned launch of the refinery was delayed earlier this year because of a worker strike that lasted for more than three months.
Khojasteh Mehr said that more than 7,000 workers have been active in the project which has faced periodic closures because of the spread of the coronavirus in Iran.
He said natural gas output from all 28 phase of South Pars excluding one unfinished phase reached an all-time high of 705 million cubic meters per day in January.