by Lady Michelle-Jennifer Santos
TEHRAN, February 8, 2015 (TSR) – The largest floating oil terminal of the world went on stream on Sunday in the Persian Gulf in Iran’s Soroush oil fields after 12 years of non-stop construction work.
The 2.2-million-barrel floating oil storage unit (FSU) became operational concurrent with celebrations marking the 36th anniversary of the victory of Iran’s Islamic Revolution. The terminal is expected to replace the Sorena terminal which is currently operating in the field.
The giant FSU, dubbed ‘The Persian Gulf’, is 337 meters long, 60 meters wide and 33 meters high.
The FSU would carry the crude oil produced in the offshore Soroush and Nowruz oil field in Persian Gulf to the floating terminal.
The launch of the FSU will significantly increase Iran’s crude storage, will help the country expedite oil export operations and costs from the Pars Special Economic Energy Zone (PSEEZ), as well as reducing the costs and time of condensate delivery to potential buyers in the Persian Gulf.
The operation will also help Iran increase its export of gas condensate from the current level of 450,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 1.2 million pbd.
On January 28, Director General of the PSEEZ Customs Department Khodadad Rahimi said that Iran exported 878,631 tons of gas condensate worth USD 764.786 million from the zone in the Iranian calendar month of Dey (December 22, 2013 – January 20, 2014).
He said condensate exports from the zone rose by 272 percent in value and 278 percent in weight compared to the corresponding period in the last Iranian calendar year (ended March 20, 2013).
Rahimi added that gas condensate accounted for 64 percent in weight and 62 percent in value of the entire commodities exported from the PSEEZ, adding that the main destinations for the Iranian condensate were China, Japan, the United Arab Emirates, India, Indonesia, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Turkey, Romania, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Afghanistan.
Seyid Piruz Misavi, General Director of Iranian Oil Terminals Company (IOTC), said that the floating terminal to ship gas condensate has carrying capacity that allows exporting up to 600,000 barrels of the above-mentioned product a day. Therefore, there is a possibility to increase volume of deliveries of gas condensate in parallel with growth of oil export.
Seyid Piruz Musavi added that the above-mentioned floating terminal was put into operation after the repair of its equipment, which started two years ago. All its elements were delivered to the mooring in Asaluye port and last days before the New Year (new 1393 years started in Iran on March 21) the terminal was again returned to its previous place after the repair.
After launching of the floating terminal, the time of shipment of gas condensate to the tankers significantly reduced and the volume of export significantly increased. All the works have been carried out by local specialists and the company managed to save a significant amount of money.
Seyid Piruz Musavi said that the floating terminal will ship gas condensate to the tankers with the displacement of up to 320,000 tons. Gas condensates are a kind of light and expensive crude oil extracted from gas fields.
The first floating oil terminal, named Sourena, is currently exporting crude oil produced in Norouz and Soroush fields in the Persian Gulf.
Iran’s southern port of Asaluyeh saw the launch of the country’s second floating condensate export terminal in 2014, according to news site Zawya.
The terminal has the capacity to export 600,000 barrels of condensate per day.
The floating terminal meets growing demand for the country’s condensates. The floating terminal was under overhaul for the past two years and by putting it back into operation, currently two floating terminal are being used to transfer condensates on to tankers offshore at Asaluyeh.
Each terminal is capable of transferring 600,000 barrels of condensate per day to oil tankers with capacity of maximum 320,000 tons.
The PSEEZ was established in ??1998?? for the utilization of South ?Pars oil and gas resources and encouraging commercial activities in the field of oil, gas and ?petrochemical industries.?
The South Pars gas field, divided into 28 phases, is located in the Persian Gulf on the common border between Iran and Qatar. The field is estimated to contain 14 trillion cubic meters of gas and 18 billion barrels of condensates.
South Pars is part of a larger field that covers an area of 9,700 square kilometers, 3,700 square kilometers of which lie in Iran’s territorial waters in the Persian Gulf (South Pars). The remaining 6,000 square kilometers, i.e. the North Dome, are located in Qatar’s territorial waters. The Iranian share, which is divided into 29 phases, has about 14 trillion cubic meters of gas, or about 8% of total world reserves, and more than 18 billion barrels of liquefied natural gas.
Iran ranks fourth worldwide with 155 billion barrels of recoverable oil reserves, after Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, and Canada.
The country’s total in-place oil reserves have been estimated at more than 560 billion barrels, with about 140 billion barrels of recoverable oil. Heavy and extra heavy varieties of crude oil account for roughly 70-100 billion barrels of the total reserves.
With 34 trillion cubic meters of natural gas reserves, Iran has the world’s second-largest natural gas reserves after Russia.