Iranian Platform Unit Sunk in Gulf

On 30 January 2013 a $40 million engineering structure belonging to Iran’s South Pars gas field to be used in offshore platforms sank into the Gulf as it was being installed. The equipment was built by Maritime Industrial Company (SADRA), an affiliate of the industrial wing of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, over a 30-month period. The incident occurred Monday night as the 1,850-tonne jacket developed for South Pars Phase 13 sank to a depth of 80 metres (264 feet), media reports said, adding that there were no reports of any casualties.

2013.04.02 - Iranian Platform Unit Sunk in Gulf

A spectacular video taken from vessel near the area of the accident shows the platform sinking with personnel still onboard.

Tehran considers the development of the South Pars field, which is jointly owned by Qatar, to be a strategic priority.

Iran says it currently produces about 650 million cubic metres of gas daily, including 280 million from South Pars, most of which is used for domestic consumption. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in early January that Iran plans to double the field’s production capacity by summer 2013, but the accident is expected to delay the launch of Phase 13 by several months.

Once completed, Phase 13 is to produce around 56 million cubic metres of gas daily.

Major Western companies that previously operated in South Pars, among them France’s Total and Anglo-Dutch giant Shell, withdrew from Iran between 2007 and 2010 after sanctions were imposed over Tehran’s atomic ambitions.

Source: AFP

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