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Ethane Separation, Major Feature of SP Phases 4 & 5

Source: Shana 3/5/2005, Location: Asia

TEHRAN – Separation of ethane and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) from natural gas has been possible for the first time in phases 4 and 5 of South Pars Project. Akbar Torkan, managing director of Pars Oil and Gas Company noted that ethane makes up about 6 percent of every cu. m. natural gas and facilities for separating ethane from natural gas in phases 4 and 5 have been provided. He added that ethane is then carried to adjacent petrochemical complexes where it is converted into ethylene and polyethylene.

“Ethane exports will also fetch the country 70 million dollars,” he said. He mentioned producing LPG from natural gas as another feature of the said phases and stated that LPG will be stored in special tanks before being exported.

“Each year, one million tons LPG is produced by phases 4 and 5, earning the country 350 million dollars. Also, daily production of 80,000 barrels gas condensate and 56 million cu. m. sweet gas for injection into cross-country network are other features of the phases,” he noted.

Torkan stated that production at phases 4 and 5 will fetch the country about 3.3 billion dollars per year through sales of ethane, propane, butane, gas condensate and natural gas. The official noted that about 2 billion dollars have been invested in the said phases excluding profit, bank interest as well as customs and insurance costs.

He said more than 40 percent of development project for phases 4 and 5 has been carried out by the Iranian companies, adding, “Iranian contractors, manufacturers, consultants and engineers have gained valuable experiences and they are implementing projects on time.”

“Based on the contract if contractors speed up implementation of the project about one-third of the value of excess products earned as a result of speedy implementation will be awarded to them as bonus. The ceiling for the bonus has been set at 115 million dollars,” he said.

Torkan stated that during the cold season of the current year, phases 4 and 5 produced 30-40 million cu. m. gas per day due to incessant activity of contractors.

“At the moment, onshore installations and refinery of phases 4 and 5 has been completed and when the remaining wells are drilled at sea, production from both phases will hit 56 million cu. m. a day,” he said.

The managing director added that developing South Pars phase 4 and 5 has created jobs for more than 18,000 people and, at the moment, 10,000 people are working on them. “At present, contracts are to be signed for 20 phases South Pars gas field. Tender bid for phases 15 and 16 has been held and the winner will be announced soon,” he said.

Torkan added that Iran’s production from South Pars gas field has equaled that of Qatar and the country is expected to surpass Qatar by 2012.


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