By Dalga Khatinoglu
Iran's energy sector, like other industrial sectors experienced low growth in 2015, despite a relatively boom in the previous year, mostly because of the budget shortage due to plunging the oil price, which the country heavenly depends on petrol dollars.
The International Monetary Fund estimated that Iran's oil revenues decreased by $20.1 billion to around $35 billion the current year, while GDP growth is estimated to be about -0.5 percent to 0.5 percent.
According to OPEC's statistics, Iran's heavy oil price almost halved in 11 months of 2015 to about $50/barrel. However, according to Iranian media outlets, the figure even plunged to below $30/barrel in min-December.
Coming to upstream sector, the country's oil output remained almost unchanged, while the gas condensate output increased slightly. In total, according to the US Energy Iran's total crude oil production (including gas condensate) stood at 3.3 million barrels per day in 9 months of 2015, indicates 75,000 barrels per day increase year-to-year.
Coming to gas sector, it seems the gas production level soared in 2015, but mostly in the first quarter of year.
The country's gas output increased only 18 million cubic meters per day (mcm/d) in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th quarters of 2014. Iran has increased gas output by 50 mcm/d in average from March 2014 to March 2015, mostly in the second half of mentioned period, especially in last winter.
Iran's enriched and sweet gas production capacity stands at about 700 mcm/d and 550 mcm/d, but actual production level is lower than mentioned figures.
Coming to downstream sector, Iran recently launched a gas station with capacity to transfer 75 mcm/d of gas from South Pars in southern regions towards Qom city close to Tehran in northern regions.
Iran also increased petrochemical products outlet by 3-4 million tons per annum to about 45-46 million tons in 2015, but mostly by increasing feedstock nor launching new petrochemical plants. Iran's petrochemical production capacity is about 60 million tons per year, far more than the actual production level.
The oil refining capacity of country remained almost unchanged in 2015.
In power sector, the country hasn't developed new projects significantly, but 2015 was a milestone year for Iran in replacing liquid fuels by natural gas consumption in power plants.
According to statistics of Iran's Energy Ministry, the country's gas delivery to power plants reached about 55 bcm in 2015, showing huge increase year to year.
in 2014, the amount of gas delivery to power plants was about 43 bcm, about 8 bcm more than the previous year.
However, coming to power production capacity growth, the figure indicate huge decline.
The country added less than 900 MW to production capacity in 2015, while this figure was above 1,900 MW in 2014.
Dalga Khatinoglu is an expert on Iran's energy sector and head of Trend Agency's Iran news service