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Iran will be able to produce 385 billion cubic meter of natural gas daily by 2020, much of which will go to India, China, and Europe, a top official from the National Iranian Gas Company said today at a press conference. Hamid Reza Araqi, deputy oil minister for gas affairs, added that the current natural gas production of the country equals six million barrels per day. The increase will total 1.2 billion cubic meter from current levels.
Right now, Iran’s raw gas output is 735 million cu m daily, of which 35 million cu m are flared, which practically means they are wasted, and 90 million cubic meter are injected back into oil wells to keep the levels of current production. Just some waste-reduction efforts will result in a 120-million cubic meter increase in the daily amount of natural gas available for exports, Araqi said.
The head of the National Iranian Gas Company for international affairs Azizollah Ramazani separately said that Iran will start exporting gas to Iraq next month, under a freshly approved joint plan of action. Over the next five years, he added, Iran will send gas to its neighbors for the most part, all of it by pipeline. By 2020 the annual amount exported should reach 68-80 billion cubic meter.
Of this total, 50 billion cubic meter will be directed to Iran’s neighbors and some 30 billion cubic meter – if the best-case scenario is realized – will go to the European Union. Said Ramazani, “Currently, 10 out of 15 neighbouring countries have the capacity to import Iranian gas and sending gas to India and China is on the agenda. Meanwhile, exporting gas to Japan and South Korea is being studied which will be possible after completing the LNG project.”
At present, Tehran has contracts with Iraq, Pakistan, Oman, and Turkey to export gas, but its only actual client to date is Turkey. The combined amount agreed for exports to these four countries is 126 million cubic meter daily.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for the U.S.-based Divergente LLC consulting firm with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.