Iran able to become world’s new gas hub: analyst

February 27, 2022 - 15:8

TEHRAN - Fereydoun Barkeshli, president of Vienna Energy Research Group, believes that Iran could become the world’s new gas hub and a significant player in the global gas market with appropriate geopolitical management.

“The time has come for the Islamic Republic of Iran to play a historic role in the gas market, but this market is greatly different from the oil market. In the gas industry, becoming a corridor or hub is important and with appropriate geopolitical management, Iran can become a new gas hub,” Barkeshli who is also a member of the International Institute for Energy Studies (IIES), told Shana.

According to the official, having abundant resources will not ultimately ensure becoming an energy hub and for realizing this goal, meticulous planning and management are required.

“Turkey has no gas, but it wants to be an energy player. Austria does not have gas, but it is Europe’s major gas hub. Becoming an energy hub requires a long process of calm, security and investment,” he said.

According to Barkeshli, when, 21 years ago, the Islamic Republic of Iran established the Gas Exporting Countries Forum and held its first ministerial meeting, the main goal was to establish a forum with a function similar to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), however the world was not prepared for such an entity at the time.

"Today, the conditions are ripe for the GECF to play a constructive role in managing the global gas market," he said.

Referring to the atmosphere of the sixth summit of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) which was held recently in Qatar, Barkeshli said: "The GECF summit was held in a context never experienced before in the global gas market. According to the International Energy Agency, global gas demand is rising three times higher than the demand for oil. Unprecedented growth in global gas demand has fueled the steady rise in gas prices.”

“For the first time in the history of the world energy market, the price of oil is now dependent on the gas prices,” the official added.

So it’s the best time for a huge gas producer like Iran that is also one of the founders of OPEC and GECF, to take action and take a stronger part in the global gas market.

Holding nearly 18 percent of the global gas reserves, Iran is one of the most hydrocarbon-rich areas in the world, and the country’s giant South Pars gas field (which Iran shares with Qatar in the Persian Gulf) is by far the world's largest natural gas field.

South Pars covers an area of 9,700 square kilometers, 3,700 square kilometers of which are in Iran’s territorial waters and the remaining 6,000 square kilometers, called North Dome, are situated in the Arab country’s territorial waters.

Although until recently the Islamic Republic was mostly focused on the development of its oil reserves, considering the global shift toward natural gas and the significant rise in the domestic demand, the government started following a new strategy to develop both sectors alongside each other.

EF/MA

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