Azerbaijan, Baku, July.28 / Trend R.Zamanov /
Shoorijeh gas storage facility will come on stream by the end of the Iranian month of Shahrivar (September 21), Deputy Oil Minister Javad Owji said on Sunday.
Owji, also the managing director of National Iranian Gas Company, said that the facility is the Middle East's biggest gas storage facility, the Mehr News Agency reported.
"Iran will store extracted gas from the joint gas fields, especially the giant South Pars field, in the facility," he said.
"The facility has the capacity to store over 4 billion cubic meters of gas," he added.
The Managing Director of Iranian Central Oil Fields Company (ICOFC) Mehdi Fakour said on Saturday that Shoorijeh gas storage facility is now 65 per cent complete.
"Currently the gas injection process is underway in order to make the facility ready to pump enough gas to the northern provinces during winter," the Fars News Agency quoted Fakour as saying.
"The northern provinces daily need 20 million cubic meters of gas during winter," he concluded.
Massoud Samivand, managing director of Natural Gas Storage Company (NGSC), said in June that once Shoorijeh gas storage project comes on stream, Iran will become needless of gas imports from eastern neighbors.
The project will come on stream in the Iranian month of Mordad (July 23 - August 22), the ISNA News Agency quoted Samivand as saying.
The Shoorijeh gas storage facility can provide sufficient gas to meet the consumption in the northern and eastern provinces of Khorsan Razavi, North Khorasan, South Khorasan, Mazandaran, Golestan, Gilan, amd Ardebil, he explained.
The project will come on stream at the cost of two trillion rials (some 163.1 million dollars based on the official rate of USD and 66.6 million dollars based on the free market's price) which is 10 per cent less than the anticipated figure, Samivand added.
The Shoorijeh gas storage facility, located at the northeaster province of Khorasan Razavi, has the capacity to store 4.8 billion cubic meters of natural gas, the Fars News Agency reported.
Shoorijeh gas storage facility has two phases and its injection capacity is 10 million cubic meters per day.
Once the gas storage facility comes on stream, Iran will rank as the world's fifth country in regards with largest gas storage capacity. The United States of America with 121 billion cubic meters ranks first in the list. Iran currently stands at the 19th place.
Iran's Sarajeh gas storage facility came on stream in December. It was Iran's first gas storage facility, which is second to none in the Middle East.
The facility is located at the Sarajeh reservoir at Qom, south of Tehran.
The facility has capacity to store 1.2 billion cubic meters of gas in its first phase and 3.3 billion cubic meters in the second phase. Sarajeh gas storage facility's injection capacity is 10 million cubic meters per day.
National Iranian Gas Company's Managing Director Javad Owji said in November that Iran will establish 40 gas storage facilities in the coming years, IRNA reported.
In October Massoud Samivand told the Mehr News Agency that Iran will be able to store 110 mcm of gas per day when it completes several relevant projects.
Upon completion of five to six projects, Iran's gas storage capacity will grow to 110 million cubic meters making it possible for the country to have a greater share in global gas sales.
He stated that the country's natural gas storage capacity should hit 14 billion cubic meters by the end of the Fifth Economic Development Plan (2015.)
More than $200 billion is said to be needed to invest in the implementation of Iran's gas projects.