March 17, 2019 / 12:48 PM / 3 months ago

Iran's Rouhani inaugurates four new phases of South Pars gas field

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani gestures to the crowd at a public speech in Bandar Kangan, Iran March 17, 2019. Official Iranian President website/Handout via REUTERS

GENEVA (Reuters) - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani formally inaugurated four new phases of South Pars, the world’s largest gas field, on Sunday, according to a statement posted by the Iranian oil ministry on Twitter.

Iran has invested $11 billion to complete the four phases and they will increase the country’s gas production capacity by up to 110 million cubic meters per day, the statement said.

Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said on Saturday that Iran, which share South Pars with Qatar, expects to operate 27 phases by next March.

Gas production at South Pars will exceed 750 million cubic meters per day by late 2019, Zanganeh said on Sunday, according to SHANA, the news website of the Iranian oil ministry.

Iran produced 841 million cubic meters of gas per day on average in the current Iranian calendar year, which began in March 2018, Zanganeh said on Sunday, according to the Mehr news agency.

Iran expects to produce 880 million cubic meters of gas per day in the next year and 950 million cubic meters of gas per day the following year, Zanganeh said.

France’s Total and China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) suspended investment in phase 11 of South Pars last year after the United States threatened to impose sanctions on companies that do business in Iran.

Zanganeh said on Saturday that talks are continuing with CNPC.

Reporting By Babak Dehghanpisheh; Editing by Toby Chopra

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