Minister: Iran has to import gas in 1.5 years

Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 31 / Trend, D.Khatinoglu/

Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said Iran will become self-sufficient from gas imports after the Iranian 1394 solar year which will start on March 20, 2015.

According to Shana News Agency, Zanganeh said on October 30 that gas shares 70 per cent of Iran's energy consumption basket.

Iran has 33.6 trillion cubic meters of gas reserves.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration report, Iran's natural dried gas output was about 153 billion cubic meters (bcm) which is as much as the domestic consumption figures.

According to this report released in March 2013, overall, Iran's natural gas consumption is expected to grow around seven per cent annually for the next decade.

Natural gas accounted for about 59 per cent of Iran's total domestic energy consumption in 2010 with oil consumption at 39 per cent of total energy use, according to EIA.

Iran's gas import from Turkmenistan has decreased from above 10 bcm in 2010 to 4.5 bcm last year, while Iran has obligation to export annually 10 bmc of gas to Turkey.

Zanganeh visited Turkmenistan two months ago to revive the gas import volume, but there is no information on achieving a result.

Mehr reported in September 2012, that Iran's debts to Ashgabat reached $1 billion due to Western sanctions over Iran's banking system.

There has not been anything published about paying off Iran's debts to Turkmenistan, as of yet.

Iran eyes boosting gas production by commencing 12 new phases of the joint South Pars gas field, but Zanganeh said there are only two, Phases 15 and16, until March 2015. Iran needs a $25 billion investment to commence remaining phases of South Pars (phases 11 to 24) to boost gas output by 300 mcbpd in 2.5 years.

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