“Iran has enough gas for domestic demand, yet may face problems with export”

Posted on November 24, 2012

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Having world’s second largest gas reserves in the world, Iran has the potential to satisfy the domestic demand and at the same time export considerable amount of gas to other countries, U.S. Northeastern University Professor Kamran Dadkhah believes.

Dadkhah was commenting on how Iran would be dealing with its domestic gas consumption and exports, with the International sanctions still in full force.

He believes the sanctions have limited Iran’s export and production, bringing Qatar as a comparison.

“Iran and Qatar share gas fields in the Persian Gulf. Qatar is a small country with a population of less than two million, and yet it has successfully developed and exploited its share of the field,” Dadkhah said.

“Iran on the other hand with a population of 78 million has been unable to effectively develop its share due to international sanctions. In the meantime, population growth has increased the domestic demand for gas.”

The expert believes even with sanctions affecting the country’s exports, Iran would still be able to supply the country with gas, but its exports will suffer.

“It may even reduce exports to Turkey,” Dadkhah said.

Turkey imports eight million tons of oil and eight billion cubic meters of gas from Iran every year.

Speaking of Iran’s neighboring Central Asian countries, Dadkhah said that it would be of benefits for Iran to import gas from there, if necessary.

“Iran’s major gas fields are located in the south of the country while some of the large urban areas such as Tehran are located in the north and northeast,” Dadkhah said.

“Thus, a seemingly reasonable plan was to export from the southern gas fields and import gas for domestic consumption in the north and northeast from the Central Asian countries including Turkmenistan,” he added. “This would tremendously save on the transportation cost. But on the one hand international sanctions have deprived Iran from effectively developing its gas industry and utilizing its potentials.”

Several days ago Iran’s Deputy Oil Minister Jawad Owji said that Iran’s imports of gas from Turkmenistan will be increased up to 40 million of cubic meters per day in the near future from some 4-5 million cubic meters per day that the Islamic Republic was receiving about six months ago.

Iran’s Oil minister Rostam Qhasemi said on Monday that once all the phases of South Pars gas field come on stream, Iran will no longer need to import gas, adding that phases 15 and 16 of South Pars will come on stream by March 2013.

Back in October 2012, deputy director of National Iranian Gas Company Mostafa Kashkouli said that the country’s consumption will reach 600 million cubic meters per day during the winter.

On November 21, CEO of Iran’s Natural Gas Storage Company Masud Samivend said that the country plans to build a new underground natural gas storage facility that would be capable of storing some 14 billion cubic meters of gas.

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