Winter Energy Crisis Averted by Khorasan Gas Supplies

Winter Energy Crisis Averted by Khorasan Gas SuppliesWinter Energy Crisis Averted by Khorasan Gas Supplies

Iran managed to avert an energy crisis in winter by raising natural gas supplies from reservoirs in the northeast, said the chief executive officer of East Oil and Gas Production Company.

"A shortage of natural gas, which happened after Turkmenistan cut supplies to Iran, was counterbalanced by raising production from gas deposits in Khorasan Razavi Province," Mohammad Mambeigi added in a news conference on Friday, IRNA reported.

Iran meets a fraction of its gas demand by imports from Turkmenistan, a country which shares almost 1,000 kilometers of border with Iran. But Turkmengaz, the state gas company, halted natural gas supplies to Iran late last year to force Iran into paying nine times more for its gas.

According to reports, Turkmenistan exported 10-12 mcm/d of gas to Iran, which accounted for less than 2% of the domestic gas demand, but the cutback took a toll on Iran's residential and industrial consumers as demand typically surges in winter for power generation and heating purposes.

"Increased output from Khangiran and Gonbadli gas fields helped offset the shortfall in six provinces, namely Khorasan Razavi, South and North Khorasan, Mazandaran, Golestan and parts of Semnan," Mambeigi added.

State-owned EOGPC produced more than 43 million cubic meters per day of natural gas, or almost 16 billion cubic meters in the fiscal 2016-17 that ended in March.

That accounted for around 6% of Iran's total natural gas output in the previous fiscal year. The country meets more than two-thirds of its gas demand from South Pars, a giant gas field in the Persian Gulf shared with Qatar.

Iran is now pumping more than 800 mcm/d of gas, with South Pars production at around 550 mcm/d.

South Pars is the world's largest gas field, covering an area of 3,700 square kilometers of Iran's territorial waters in the Persian Gulf. It adjoins Qatar’s North Field that measures 6,000 square kilometers.

Following the halt in Turkmen supplies, the government ramped up gas delivery from southern facilities to northern regions, but according to Mambeigi, additional supplies from Khorasan Razavi deposits played a key role in alleviating the gas shortage that could shut down power plants and leave millions of people freezing in the cold season.

Khangiran gas field is 180 kilometers northeast of the city of Mashhad in Khorasan Razavi Province. Data show the field's extraction is 17 mcm/d at present.

Gonbadli, a field shared by Iran and Turkmenistan, contains an estimated 7.8 billion cubic meters of natural gas.

Iran expects its natural gas production to reach 1 billion cubic meters a day by the end of 2018. The country holds the world's largest gas reserves and fourth biggest crude oil reserves.


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