Latest developments of Phase I of South Pars gasfield

Dec 17, 2003 01:00 AM

Phase one of the giant South Pars Gas Field is supposed to produce 40,000 bpd of gas condensates and 25 mm cm of refined gas for domestic use and exports. The gas field would also offer 200 tons of solid sulphur for exports.
The agreement for development of the first phase was signed by March 1998 and it will go online soon. Mohammad-Ali Shekar-Khab, director of the project, has told us about the latest developments regarding the giant gas field.

Question: Would you please tell us of the physical progress in the phase one of South Pars?

Answer: Regarding phase one, our onshore refinery was launched in March after laying on gas pipelines stretching from phases two and three to the first phase. The distillation section also started operation and we operated the peripheral services last March.

Question: When will the project go on stream?

Answer: We hope to transfer gas from the offshore section to the onshore refinery by the end of current calendar month of Azar (which ends Dec. 21).

Question: Why is implementation of the project protracted?

Answer: We had numerous problems in the offshore sector and it was the first time we employed domestic contractors. Our problems have been resolved and the platforms are ready for production.

Question: Can you tell us about offshore problems?

Answer: Yes, the offshore problems involved implementation of subsea pipeline. We had firstly decided to lay on the pipeline through specialized ships we bought. It was hard work to convert the ship and we did not have enough time. That was the first time we had authorized domestic producers to build such heavy platforms. We had to invest in the platforms and got results. We relied on our past oil and gas experiences. We had other problems.

Question: What other problems?

Answer: The major problem was that we had authorized for the first time our contractors to carry out such significant project. Our domestic facilities were not enough and we had to provide a yard for building the platforms.

Question: Sill our experiences in the offshore sector dispense the need for foreign contractors in the future?

Answer: That was a big project and we had 30,000 tons of metallic equipment in our offshore sector. Anyhow, it was good experience for our contractors. They can now build platforms and even lay on subsea pipelines.

Question: To what extent did your planning come true?

Answer: We had our predictions for the first phase of South Pars but our management did not conform with the progress. We resolved our problems one by one.

Question: The project was launched by a domestic contractor for the first time. Did domestic facilities correspond to requirements?

Answer: We had decided to hire our domestic contractors to launch a project for the first time. Our domestic facilities were insufficient. On the other hand, our domestic producers had to abide by the standards for making equipment. We had to talk with them for this purpose.

Question: Phase one has common points with the second and third phase. What happened to phases two and three?

Answer: We had to deal with phases two and three in implementing the first phase. We had to implement the two phases simultaneously before the first phase. For this purpose we needed equipment.

Question: Did you get the equipment on time?

Answer: Yes, we finally managed to provide the second and third phases with necessary equipment. We managed to accomplish the job and we are happy with our progress. Petropars serves as our major contractor in the project.

Question: What advantages did the project have for us as we assigned a domestic contractor to account for it?

Answer: We have got good experiences in the management and other sectors. At moment, our contractors are involved in phases four and five for their development. So we have go experience to use in other Assaluyeh units, petrochemical and gas projects. Our experience was a big asset for us.

Question: Do you think that our contractors can compete with their foreign opposite numbers?

Answer: Yes, certainly. Our domestic contractors assert that they can come up with foreign contractors and manage the projects.

Question: Is it mere assertion?

Answer: We have seen examples in the country. Our domestic facilities account for around 33 % of work in phases two and three. We used our domestic facilities for 70 % of the first phase. That is not mere assertion. They have written letter to us and proven the merits. Taking into account developments in Phase 1, we can expect our domestic contractors to do a good job in other projects.

Question: Do you have anything more to add?

Answer: As I told you, the first phase was not a sole project and the peripheral affairs rendered the job very delicate. We are happy that we have managed to convince our domestic contractors that they can do bigger jobs.

Source: Tehran Times
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