BEIRUT, March 19 (Reuters) - Oil wells at Iran's South Pars gas field started production for the first time on Sunday, Iranian oil ministry news agency SHANA reported.
South Pars is a part of the world's largest gas field which Iran shares with Qatar. South Pars also has more than 14 billion barrels of oil reserves, it said.
Gholamreza Manouchehri, deputy head of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), said on Sunday that the wells are expected to initially produce 5,000 barrels per day (bpd) and that should increase to 35,000 bpd within a week, SHANA said.
"We are hoping that within 30 to 45 days we will have the first export shipment from the oil layer at South Pars," Manouchehri said.
Separately, Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh issued a directive that no managers or supervisors in Iran's oil industry can change positions until after presidential elections on May 19, the Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA) reported Sunday.
(Reporting by Babak Dehghanpisheh; editing by Jason Neely) ((email@example.com;))