Europe, neighbors eager to import Iran gas: NIGC
European countries and Iran’s neighbors are willing to buy gas from Iran as more gas projects are coming online, the head of National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) says.
“Europeans, neighbors and other countries are looking forward to receiving gas from Iran,” Hamid-Reza Araqi said on Monday.
He said Iran would see its gas production reach 1 billion cubic meters a day (bcm/d) in three years as new phases of the gigantic offshore South Pars gas field are coming on-stream.
Araqi said Iran’s gas production is set to hit 189 bcm in the current calendar year to March 2016.
He also said that the share of gas in Iran’s energy mix would rise to 70% in the near future.
South Pars, divided into 29 development phases, contains 40 trillion cubic meters (tcm) of natural gas. It covers an area of 9,700 square kilometers, 3,700 square kilometers of which are in Iran’s territorial waters in the Persian Gulf. The remaining 6,000 square kilometers are situated in Qatar’s territorial waters.
The gas field is estimated to contain about eight percent of the world’s reserves, and approximately 18 billion barrels of condensate.
Jump in exports
Iran’s gas exports have increased by more than 1 mcm/d during the first 11 months of the previous Iranian calendar year (ended March 20, 2015) compared to the corresponding period a year before.
A file photo of installations at South Pars gas field
On April 16, European Union’s Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete said Europe keeps the possibility of importing gas from Iran open as it seeks to diversify sources of energy
Speaking on the sidelines of a meeting of EU energy ministers in the Latvian capital city of Riga, Canete said Iran was a new possibility for imports of gas by Europe if Tehran’s nuclear negotiations led to a final agreement.
The sanctions were imposed on Iran at the beginning of 2012 by the US and EU claiming that there is a military aspect to Iran’s peaceful nuclear program; an allegation Iran categorically rejected.
The Islamic Republic and the P5+1 group of countries – the US, the UK, France, Germany, Russia and China – reached an interim agreement on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program in the Swiss city of Geneva last November, which led to relative loosening of sanctions against Iran, paving the way for further cooperation in various economic fields, especially in energy sector, between Iran and other countries.
Following the Lausanne understanding Iran’s oil industry officials said international companies have voiced interest in taking up projects in the country’s oil industry.