Iran has discovered a new gas field close to the giant offshore field South Pars in the Persian Gulf, Iranian media reported on Wednesday, quoting an unnamed official with the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC). According to information published by oilprice.com, the field, called Sepand, has 1.5 trillion cubic feet of sweet gas, of which about 792 billion cubic feet could be recoverable.
The new field is independent from South Pars, which Iran shares with Qatar, the NIOC official told media. It is not yet clear if the newly discovered gas field is also shared with Qatar, according to the official. “One of the most important features of the new field is that it has a wide horizontal natural gas structure,” the official was quoted as saying. According to the NIOC representative, Iran would soon begin drilling an exploration well at the new field.
Just last month, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani announced the start of phases 17-21 at the South Pars gas field—a development stage worth US$20 billion. Rouhani told media that gas output from the field had reached 570 million cu m and that Iran had plans to overtake Qatar as gas producer.
Currently, Iran produces 885 million cubic meters of gas daily—almost the same as Qatar—but most of it is being consumed domestically. Oil fields need gas injections to increase output, so much of what Iran is producing from its gas deposits is being used to stimulate oil production. According to BP data, gas exports have yet to become viable given the current level of domestic natural gas consumption.