Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 11
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
Iran hopes that handle the possible gas shortage in winter via boosted imports from the neighboring Turkmenistan. Iran itself is the world's first gas holder.
The Islamic Republic faced severe gas shortages last winter. In addition to cutting the gas supply to power plants, which led to burning $30 billion of liquid fuels, the Iranian government had to decrease gas delivery to petrochemical plants from 1,236 million to 530 million cubic feet which caused a drop in the petrochemical production by 7.5 million metric tons during the last fiscal year (ended on March 21).
Iranian officials have earlier emphasized that the country's gas output would increase by 100 million cubic meters after the four phases of South Pars gas field come on stream before winter.
Now it seems that the phases will not become active before winter and the government seeks alternative sources to handle the unavoidable gas shortage.
Hamid Reza Araghi, managing director of National Iranian Gas Company said that Iran produces as much as 550 million cubic meters of gas a day, and work on the four phases of South Pars will add 100 million cubic meters by March.
Iranian oil minister, Bijan Namdar Zanganeh visited Turkmenistan on Nov. 6 to secure gas imports from the neighboring country during the winter.
The Islamic Republic's media outlets reported that Turkmenistan promised to keep the deliveries of gas to Iran at high level this winter, up to 45 million cubic meters per day.
According to an agreement between the two sides, Turkmenistan should supply 40 million cubic meters of gas per day to Iran, but deputy director of National Iranian Gas Company, Abdolhossein Samari told Mehr news agency that the current gas delivery to Iran is about 23 to 24 million cubic meters per day.
Iran gets Turkmen gas via several branches. The Korpeje - Kurt-Kui gas pipeline, commissioned in December 1995, is the main one. Its capacity was brought to eight billion cubic meters per year with the potential of increasing the capacity to 14 billion cubic meters.
Iran pays Turkmenistan gas fee partly in cash and partly in the form of goods export.
The Islamic Republic has already voiced readiness to export commodities as well as technical and engineering services to Turkmenistan to boost gas imports.
It should be noted that Iran holds 33.6 trillion cubic meters of proved gas reserves, sharing 18 percent of total global gas reserves which puts the country in the top of the world's gas holders list. However, lacking technology and investment led to long-term delays in implementation of gas production projects.
Facing winter gas shortage, Iran hopes to increase imports from Turkmenistan
Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 11