New Gas Find Will Underpin Global Ranking

New Gas Find Will  Underpin Global RankingNew Gas Find Will  Underpin Global Ranking

More gas fields are very likely to be discovered in northeastern Iran, National Iranian Oil Company’s head of exploration told Shana.

“Based on preliminary evidence, there is a high possibility of finding new gas fields between Khangiran and Kalat,” Mohammad Reza Mehdipour said on Tuesday.

Iran already has the largest proven gas reserves in the world, according to US Energy Information Administration. The reserves exceeded 33.6 trillion cubic meters, the watchdog estimates.

Finding new gas fields will cement Iran’s top spot and leave Russia, previously the number one in gas reserves, firmly in second place. British Petroleum has put Iran on top of its gas reserves list for the third consecutive year.

Mehdipour, who is also the chief executive of East Oil and Gas Production Company, an NIOC subsidiary, said 3D seismography of Khangiran, taken in previous years, has been analyzed by NIOC’s exploration arm.

“The gathered information is a big help for developing the region’s reserves.”

Khangiran Gas Field, discovered in 1967, began production of natural gas and condensates in 1980. Its total proven reserves are around 480 billion cubic meters and production is slated to be around 17 million cubic meters per day.

Finding new reservoirs would add to the field’s half a billion cubic meters.

 Future Investments

Iran is planning to invest $30 billion in South Pars Gas Field, the world’s largest gas field shared with Qatar, in the coming years to increase the country’s daily output to 1 billion cubic meters per day.

Plans to sign contracts with international giants will be showcased at a conference in London in December. The Oil Ministry is expecting enthusiastic foreign investors.

The increasing production coupled with huge reserves could help Iran become Europe’s top supplier. Iran can deliver gas to Europe via a pipeline through Turkey, which would reduce the continent’s reliance on Russian gas and have great political and strategic ramifications for Europe.

Furthermore, Iran has the construction of a trans-national pipeline through Pakistan to India to satisfy the emerging economic powerhouse’s energy needs.

Both pipelines need heavy investment and will take years to develop.

Furthermore, Iran still has huge potential for significant gas discoveries. Areas such as Caspian Sea, northeastern Iran near the Caucasus, Central Kavir and especially areas starting from Aghar and Dalan gas fields in Fars Province down to the Strait of Hormuz and Persian Gulf have considerable potential for undiscovered gas.

According to Exploration Directorate of NIOC, there are about 150 unexplored anticlines in Iran, which could be explored by foreign companies willing to invest in Iran’s upstream gas industry.

 Gas Consumption in Eastern Provinces

However, production from northeastern fields is going to be used for domestic consumption in the coming months.

“We are drilling three new wells in the area, bringing the total to 61 wells before winter. Production from these wells will cover the winter consumption of five provinces,” said Mehdipour.

The main concern of Iranian Central Oil Fields Company, also an NIOC subsidiary, is to maintain its production levels.

“We are putting a lot of effort in improving the quality of gas fed to Shahid Hasheminejad Refinery,” he said.

Despite having the world’s largest gas reserves, Iran has had to deal with winter shortages, as low investment has kept production levels low while poor consumption patterns have led to considerably higher than average per capita consumption, especially in industries.