– It’s possible that almost a million barrels of oil could be loaded onto a floating production facility in the Persian Gulf, an Iranian petroleum director said.
Iran started producing oil for the first time from the South Pars field complex in the Persian Gulf earlier this year. The oil layer is different from the gas reservoirs in a region that straddles the maritime borders of Iran and Qatar.
Shana, the Oil Ministry’s news website, reported production from seven oil wells in the South Pars complex should reach a net peak capacity of 35,000 barrels per day. The oil ministry estimated the field holds more than 14 billion barrels of oil.
Fardin As’adi, the Iranian director of the South Pars oil development plan, said it’s possible to load as much as 700,000 barrels of crude oil onto a floating production, storage and offloading vessel. An hourly rate of 30,000 barrels is possible.
Since the start of operations earlier this year, the director said total production has passed 3 million barrels. According to him, the FPSO is novel for the region.
“There has only been the experience of using floating storage without processing equipment on the Qatari side and floating storage without equipment in the Iranian side so far,” he said in a statement.
Iranian officials aimed to start the project in the early 2000s, but progress was delayed because of the lack of ability to secure the FPSO.
As’adi gave no indication about the destination of the oil sourced from the FPSO. Last year, the National Iranian Oil Company said Dutch trader Trafigura was moving Iranian crude oil to the Chinese market, though Trafigura had no comment on the shipments at the time. The NIOC said in March that it expected the first crude oil consignment from South Pars would be ready for shipment in about a month.
The Iranian component of the basket of crude oils that make up the benchmark for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries was up 38 percent from last July. Iran produced an average 3.8 million barrel per day last month, up moderately from June.