Gas Output to Double by 2017

Gas  Output  to Double  by 2017Gas  Output  to Double  by 2017

Iran is to double its natural gas production by 2017 to one billion cubic meters per day, managing director of the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) said, ISNA reported.

Mohammad Reza Araghi said, “Having the largest gas reserves in the world, we aim to increase extraction from the South Pars field in the Persian Gulf to double gas production by the next three years.”

Output is presently 550 million cubic meters per day (mcm/d). It is expected to reach 680 mcm/d upon the completion of four phases of South Pars field by March 2015. South Pars is the world’s largest gas field, shared between Iran and Qatar, covering an area of 3,700 square kilometers of Iran’s territorial waters in the Persian Gulf. It adjoins Qatar’s North Field, which measures 6,000 square kilometers.

The country’s economy has been under pressure due to global sanctions and oil and gas revenues have consequently declined over the past two years, but Iran looks to reach its one billion cubic meters per day target in gas production by 2017 “even if the sanctions persist,” according to Araghi. The US imposed tough sanctions on Iran to curb the country’s nuclear program which it claims is geared to military use. Iran insists its program is peaceful.

Iran and P5+1 have been holding marathon talks over the past year to reach a mutually acceptable “comprehensive deal” by a November 24 deadline that was set when the sides failed to reach an agreement before a previous deadline in July.

  Export Plans

Iran exports 30 mcm/d of gas to neighboring countries, mainly Turkey. A deal has also been signed to supply gas to Iraq’s power plants. Additionally, gas export to Iraq is to reach 25 mcm/d within the next three years.

Araghi stressed that Iran has the capacity to increase exports to the Basra governorate in south Iraq, and Kurdistan government in northern Iraq, but any increase depends on the outcome of negotiations between the two sides. Underlining Iran’s readiness to expand ties with Iraq, Araghi said, “We have no worries over Iraq’s security, as this is an internal issue. We are ready to export gas to the Arab country, and even if they are not interested, we can use it for domestic consumption.”

Iran has also signed a $1.3 billion deal to supply 21.5 mcm/d of gas to Pakistan. The laying of the so-called Peace Pipeline within Iran’s border was carried out at a cost of $2.5 billion, however, the 780 km pipeline due in Pakistan has not been laid as the Pakistani government has faced difficulty in funding the project.