New Gas Storage Facility Ensures Stable Winter Supply

New Gas Storage Facility Ensures Stable Winter Supply
New Gas Storage Facility Ensures Stable Winter Supply

The biggest gas storage facility in the Middle East with a capacity of 4.8 billion cubic meters was inaugurated in Khorasan Razavi Province on Sunday.

Shourijeh facility off Sarakhs city near Mashhad will be one of the main gas storage points and help boost gas supply in the northern and northeastern provinces during peak demand, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said after opening the new facility.

The unit is designed to store gas produced from joint fields -especially the giant South Pars fields in the south.

Ten million cubic meters of gas will be injected into the facility everyday via three compressors, each with a capacity of 3.6 million cubic meters. 

A maximum of 20 million cubic meters will be pumped out from the facility in the cold seasons. As of now, 340 million cubic meters of gas is stored in the facility.

Shourijeh facility places Iran as the leading country in the region in terms of gas storage and fifth in the world. 

The facility is located 25km southeast of Sarakhs in northwestern Iran.

The first natural gas storage facility in Iran and the Middle East was officially inaugurated in January near the village of Sarajeh near Qom, 124km south of Tehran. It has the capacity to store 1.2 billion cubic meters of gas in its first phase and 3.3 billion cubic meters in the second.

Ahmad Sajadi, MP from Sarakhs and Fariman counties underlined the advantages of the new storage facility on Saturday. "Shourijeh is a significant achievement which will create jobs and boost gas supply in the region."

Initially a total of "10 million cubic meters of gas will be pumped into the facility on a daily basis this summer to extract 20 million" during high demand, Shana quoted him as saying.

According to the Fifth Five-Year Economic Development Plan (March 2011-2016), 14 percent of the gas consumption across the country should come from the storage facilities.

The lawmaker called on the relevant bodies to facilitate the development of the second phase of gas storage in Shourijeh. "Daily storage capacity will reach 20 million cubic meters when the second phase comes on stream. This will enable us increase supply from this unit to 40 million cubic meters a day during high demand."

The facility will supply gas to provinces of North Khorasan, Khorasan Razavi, Mazandaran, Gilan and Ardebil on the northern, northeastern and northwestern flanks.

Senior officials were recently quoted as saying that with the new gas fields and facilities the need for gas imports from eastern neighbors would effectively be removed.

According to published reports, Iran's dried gas output is about 160 billion cubic meters, a little more than domestic consumption level. Iran exported 7.5 billion cubic meters of gas to Turkey and imported 4.5 billion from Turkmenistan in 2012.

Iran is currently constructing nine more gas storage facilities. Work is underway for the third such unit in central Kashan city.