Iran says it needs $100 billion of investment in its gas industry as updated BP data put the energy superpower’s reserves above those of Russia as the world’s largest.
“Natural gas will be the main fuel in the next 20 to 30 years,” international affairs director at National Iranian Gas Co. Azizollah Ramezani has said.
“Coal will be replaced by natural gas and natural gas will be the second most used fuel after oil,” he told Bloomberg in Paris where he was to attend the World Gas Conference.
In its latest review of world energy, London-based oil giant BP put Iran’s proven gas reserves at 34 trillion cubic meters (tcm) against 32.6 tcm held by Russia, giving the top rank in the world’s club to the Middle Eastern country.
Iran currently produces about 166 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas per year, which is mostly used at home. The country exports 10 bcm of gas per year. To put it in perspective, Russia exports about 150 billion cubic meters of gas a year.
Ramezani said Iran plans to increase gas exports seven-fold to 200 million cubic meters a day in four years. It wants to raise production to 1.2 billion cubic meters a day in five years, from 800 million now, he said.
Iran’s development of the massive South Pars field has been hampered by US-led sanctions which have kept foreign investors and companies at bay.
International companies hope current nuclear negotiations would lead to the lifting of sanctions on Iran in order to return to the country.
Ramezani said Deputy Minister of Hamid Reza Araqi had met with some of those companies, primarily from Europe, on the sidelines of the World Gas Conference.
“In Paris, we met a lot of companies and they were very eager to have negotiations.”