Armenia eyes to importing Iranian gas

Oil&Gas Materials 25 March 2014 13:43 (UTC +04:00)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. Mar. 25

By Rahim Zamanov - Trend:

Iran's IRNA News Agency reported on March 25 that Armenia may purchase natural gas from Iran in the near future.

The Iranian News Agency quoted Radio Armenia as saying that the issue of importing two million cubic meters of gas from Tehran will be discussed at the two countries upcoming joint committee meeting, to be held in May in Tehran.

Alireza Kameli, the managing director of the National Iranian Gas Company said on March 4 that Iran is currently negotiating with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iraq and Oman for exporting gas.

Iran sits on the world's largest natural gas reserves. The country's estimated reserves are 33.6 trillion cubic meters or 18 per cent of the world's total proven gas reserves.

However, the development rate of the country's gas projects is slow and gas accounts for a major share of Iran's energy consumption. Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh puts the figure at 70 per cent.

Reza Araqi and Abdolhosein Samari, deputy director of the National Iranian Gas Company, has repeatedly put Iran's total gas refining capacity, including imported gas from Turkmenistan at 600 million cubic meters per day. The figure also includes seven million cubic meters of gas pumped each day from Iran's only active gas storage facility, Sarajeh, to the country's national gas network.

Iran is looking to increase its gas production at the giant South Pars gas field to 700 million cubic meters per day from the current figure of 285 million cubic meters, but even in the best scenario, the development project will take five years.

The country is obliged to export 30 million cubic meters of gas per day to Turkey. However, the country has managed to export only 25 million cubic meters of gas per day to its western neighbour in the past few years.

Tehran has two gas exports contracts with Iraq, one with Pakistan and a gas export memorandum of understanding with Oman. The country also has to annually export of 10 billion cubic meters of gas to Turkey based on a contract signed in 1996. So excluding the MoU with Oman, Iran is obliged to export at least 140 million cubic meters of gas per day to neighbouring countries in the short term.

Iran has to spend billions of dollars to build the necessary infrastructure for exporting gas to Iraq and Pakistan. The country is also in dire need of increasing the rate of gas injection to its oilfields.

In addition, Tehran's domestic gas consumption increases seven per cent each year.

It seems that in warm months, Iran has more gas to export since household consumption falls. However last spring the country was forced to feed six billion litres of liquid fuel to its power plants instead of gas.

Edited by S.M.