Some 120 kilometers southeast of the southern Bushehr Province, Iran owns a gas field holding more than 57 tcf of gas in place. North Pars is among fields with high potential for investment. The field is estimated to require $16 billion in investment, including $5 billion in the upstream sector and $11 billion in the downstream sector (mainly LNG plants).
North Pars was discovered in 1963 following 3D seismic testing. Then, 6 exploration, appraisal and development wells were drilled for the field development. Two foreign companies including Exxon were in charge of North Pars development. That was halted in 1979.
At the time of its discovery, North Pars was the largest gas reservoir in Iran. Investment in North Pars was accelerated until the jointly-owned South Pars was discovered to become Iran’s top priority.
Today, South Pars is in its final stages of development and it is time for North Pars to undergo development.
A brief review of North Pars shows that 17 wells have so far been drilled, while 26 offshore platforms have been installed at North Pars. However, development and production are yet to start there.
North Pars whose production capacity equals four South Pars phases, has capacity to produce 3,600 mcf/d of gas. Such recovery would require drilling 46 wells. The rate of recovery envisaged for North Pars stands at 61%.
North Pars’ gas is planned to be used at LNG plants in order for Iran to produce 20 million tonnes a year of liquefied natural gas.
National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) officials eye financing and attracting manpower for new projects, including North Pars. The North Pars development is envisaged in four phases, each phase with about 1.2 bcf/d of gas.
The LNG produced from one phase of this field would belong to Iran, while the revenue from the sales of LNG from the other two phases would belong to foreign investor. The foreign party will have authority to sell its LNG to its own buyers. The gas produced from one phase of this field would be used for domestic purposes and injection.
About IRR 12,000 billion is estimated to be required for infrastructure like electricity, water, jetty, access routes, helicopter center, emergency centers and telecommunications.
Geographical integration has been done in North Pars and South Pars, covering a total area of 46,000 ha. North Pars and South Pars cover 16,000 ha and 30,000 ha, respectively.
The Exploration Directorate of NIOC and Pars Oil and Gas Company are jointly conducting studies to have a precise estimate of gas reserves in North Pars.
In case North Pars becomes a special economic energy zone, it would be possible to offer facilities to investors. This issue is currently under review.
North Pars has also oil layers with an API gravity of 12.
NIOC and Sinopec signed a $16 billion agreement in 2007 for the development of North Pars in four phases, but the Chinese firm pulled out of the project.