A new monthly record on oil tanker traffic in South Pars in Asalouyeh, Bushehr Province, has been registered, which shows a sharp rise in the volume of gas condensate trade.
“Between Dec. 22 and Jan. 20, over 16.4 million barrels of South Pars gas condensate have been loaded in Asalouyeh, of which 14.4 million barrels were exported,” Managing Director of Iran Oil Terminals Company Seyyed Pirouz Mousavi was quoted as saying by IRNA on Wednesday.
"During the 30-day period, South Pars also supplied 5.2 million barrels of gas condensate to Nouri Petrochemical Company in the province, and 3.3 million barrels to the Persian Gulf Star Refinery in the nearby Hormozgan Province."
Gas condensate is a low-density mixture of hydrocarbon liquids present as gaseous components in raw natural gas.
According to Mousavi, while the average gas condensate loading at the port in the nine months to Dec. 21 stood at 13.5 million barrels per month, the volume registered a 22% growth in Dec. 22-Jan. 20.
The world's largest gas field is known as South Pars in Iran's territory with its Qatari extension referred to as North Dome. Officials expect all 24 phases of South Pars to be up and running by March 2019, the end of the next fiscal year.
In fiscal 2016-17, gas production from South Pars increased to 520 mcm/d, up more than 150 mcm/d compared with the previous year. Iran’s total gas output is above 850 mcm/d, according to published reports.
Mousavi said 27 tankers have berthed in the port of Asalouyeh in one month, which indicate a rise of 50% compared with the number of tankers in the previous months.
“The average number of tankers docking in Asalouyeh Port in the previous months of the current Iranian fiscal year [started March 21, 2017] was 18 per month,” he said.
"Another unprecedented operation in the port, at least in the past 15 years, was the simultaneous berthing of three large vessels at the port’s three single-point moorings. This is while the port had the capacity to load/unload only two tankers at a time."
Single-point mooring is a loading buoy anchored offshore that serves as a mooring point and interconnects tankers loading or offloading gas or liquid products.
Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said on Sunday Iran has outpaced Qatar's natural gas extraction rate from the shared South Pars for the first time.
Reportedly, Qatar is pumping 480 mcm/d from the field.
Zanganeh said gas extraction from the field increased from 285 million cubic meters per day in 2013 to 470 mcm/d in 2017, and currently 553 mcm/d are being injected into Iran's national gas grid per day.
According to the minister, the country shipped some 777 million barrels of crude oil and 180 million barrels of condensate last year, averaging 2.62 million bpd.
Iran is currently pumping around 3.8 million bpd of crude oil and condensates.
During the international sanctions regime, Iran's oil output and exports stood at 2.5 million and 1 million barrels per day respectively.