NIGC outlines post-sanction plans to develop gas industry

November 3, 2015 - 0:0

TEHRAN- Iran is forecast to boost its gas output by 100-120 million cubic meters per day (mcm/d) in the current Iranian calendar year (which began on March 21), according to Azizollah Ramezani, the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC)’s director for the international affairs.

Increasing production of gas depends on the implementation of development projects, mainly in the South Pars gas field, Ramezani said in an exclusive interview with the Tehran Times.

The South Pars gas field, which Iran shares with Qatar in the Persian Gulf, contains significant amounts of gas and condensate.  

Some 55 mcm/d of refined gas is planned to be exported in this calendar year, the official mentioned.

He said that the country’s gas output and exports are projected to be boosted by about 100 mcm/d and 10 mcm/d, respectively, next year.

*** Iran is ready to export gas to Iraq

Regarding gas exports to Iraq, Ramezani said: “We are ready to start gas exports to the neighboring country. A section of the pipeline on Iraq’s territory is nearly complete. The Iraqi side has announced that the pipeline will be complete by the end of 2015.”

He explained that gas will be exported to Iraq through a part of the Sixth Iranian Gas Trunkline (IGAT-6), which extends from Assaluyeh in the southern province of Bushehr to Bazargan border point in the northwestern province of West Azarbaijan.

For the time being, about 800 kilometers of the IGAT-6 is complete, the official mentioned and put the cost of completing all phases of the gas trunkline at about $5 billion.

“We are also prepared to export gas to Iraq through the Iraqi city of Basra. We have finalized negotiations with the neighboring country in this regard and have sent a draft of the related contract to the Iraqi side. Now, we are waiting for their reply,” Ramezani added.

He touched on a project for exporting gas to Oman through a 260-km pipeline, saying that a consulting company has been selected to conduct onshore studies of the project.

He went on to say: “Also, based on a gas export agreement signed with Pakistan, we have completed the Iranian section of the gas pipeline and are waiting for the Pakistani section to be completed. Pakistan is waiting for the lifting of the [West-led] sanctions on Iran to complete the pipeline on its land. But, we think that it will take at least two years for Pakistan to put the pipeline into operation.”

*** Completing 9th cross-country gas pipeline atop agenda

Elsewhere in his remarks, Ramezani said that completing Iran’s Ninth Iranian Gas Trunkline (IGAT-9), intended to export gas to Turkey and from there to Europe, is atop agenda.

The pipeline starts from Assaluyeh, passes Khuzestan, Ilam, Kordestan and Azarbaijan provinces and reaches the border with Turkey. It is one of the routes for exporting Iranian gas to Europe. 

Based on preliminary studies, it is anticipated that Europe can import 35 billion cubic meters of gas per annum from Iran through this pipeline, the official said, adding that exporting gas via this pipeline to Europe will not be limited to just through Turkey, while some other points could be considered in the future.

The pipeline will stretch about 1800 kilometers inside Iran and about 2000 kilometers on the Turkish territory to reach Europe. In fact, about 3800-4000 kilometers of pipeline is required to transfer Iran’s gas to European countries from Turkey or any other country, he added.

*** Iran to enter global LNG market within 2-2.5 years

Referring to the Iran LNG project for constructing a liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant at Tombak Port, 50 kilometers north of Assaluyeh, Ramezani said: “The project is complete by over fifty percent and we can enter the global market of LNG over the course of 2-2.5 years.”

Negotiations have been already made with some foreign companies for the completion of the project, he added.

*** GECF summit to unveil new global gas model

About the third summit of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), which is scheduled to be held in Tehran on November 23, the official stated that the new global gas model, which has been studied for five years, will be unveiled in the summit.

The new model will be of great benefit to the GECF member states for decision making in terms of their investment plans and also the export markets they want to choose, he explained.

*** No single country can dominate global gas market

Referring to the issue of Russia’s efforts for dominating the global gas market, Ramezani said the gas market is a growing market in the world and a single country cannot surely supply all demands for gas in the world.

It is true that Russia is currently the leading exporter of gas in the world, but this issue does not undermine the role of other countries, he added.

Given the growing demand for gas in the world, other gas-exporting countries, especially Iran, which enjoys huge reserves of gas, each will have its own share of the market. So, it is not practical that a single country can dominate the world’s gas market in the future.

*** We should try to take our share of global gas market

As the final comment, the official said: “Given the circumstances in Iran in the post-sanction era, we should change our gas approach from domestic consumption to international trade. Because our share of the global gas market is very low despite the huge reserve that we have. According to our national outlook plan, we should take ten percent of the global gas market, but for the time being, we are lagging behind the target. So, for the next ten years, we should try to take our real share of the global gas market.”