Gas Production Capacity at 260 bcm/y

Gas Production Capacity at 260 bcm/yGas Production Capacity at 260 bcm/y

Iran has boosted its gas production capacity to more than 700 million cubic meters per day, Deputy Oil Minister Hamidreza Araqi said in a statement.

"Annual gas capacity has reached 260 billion cubic meters," the official said, underlining the strategic importance of gas export as a means of reinforcing international relations, Mehr News Agency reported.

"By implementing the comprehensive plan for gas industry in Iran, major developments are expected over the next six years," he added.

Officials say gas production capacity is predicted to rise by 100 mcm/d by March 2016 and surpass 1 billion cubic meters per day in two years. A long-term plan calls for raising natural gas output to1.2 bcm/d by 2025.

Iran was the world's fourth-largest gas producer in 2014 with 173 bcm, according to the official.

There are mixed estimates on which country holds the largest natural gas reserves. Iran (34 trillion cubic meters) and Russia (32.6 tcm) hold the largest proven gas reserves, according to BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2015.

But the US Energy Information Association places Russia ahead of Iran with an estimated 49 tcm in reserves. Iran, Russia and Qatar together hold nearly half the world's proven gas reserves.