Iran Gas Demand Doubling Every Decade

Iran Gas Demand Doubling Every DecadeIran Gas Demand Doubling Every Decade

Natural gas made Qatar’s citizens the richest in the world within a generation. Even with bigger fuel reserves, Iran should do its best to follow the neighbor’s path.

Iran’s own production is consumed by a population of 78 million and an oil industry that injects gas into fields to boost productivity. Qatar, with a population of 2.3 million, now ranks second only to Russia in gas exports, generating about $86 billion last year, Bloomberg reported.

While Iran and world powers Tuesday reached a nuclear deal after almost two years of talks that would ease sanctions and allow more investment, the government in Tehran is contending with domestic gas demand that is doubling every decade. Iran holds 18 percent of the world’s gas and yet accounts for less than 1 percent of trade.

“They have a huge domestic demand,” Jonathan Stern, head of the natural gas program at Oxford Institute of Energy Studies, wrote in an email July 2. “To keep up with this demand, production has to rise at a faster rate.”

  Overwhelming Gas Export Markets

Iran has consistently been a net importer of gas for a decade and the development of the South Pars, part of the world’s biggest gas field, will probably take longer than expected, according to Moses Rahnama, an analyst at Energy Aspects in London. A noticeable increase in output will take at least two years, he said.

The revenue from exporting gas would be lower than what the country gets from injecting the fuel to maintain pressure at oilfields and from feeding its petrochemical industry, Stern said. Gas accounted for less than 4% of Iranian export earnings in 2010, compared with 78% for crude and condensates, according to data from the Energy Information Administration.