AFP: Iran, which has the world's second largest natural gas reserves after Russia, seeks to invest 85 billion dollars within a decade to bolster gas exports, Kayhan International newspaper reported on Sunday. TEHRAN (AFP) — Iran, which has the world's second largest natural gas reserves after Russia, seeks to invest 85 billion dollars within a decade to bolster gas exports, Kayhan International newspaper reported on Sunday.
Reza Kasaizadeh, managing director of the National Iranian Gas Exports Company, told the paper that the oil ministry plans to attract the money from both foreign and private sector investors.
"For the expansion of gas exports… around 85 billion dollars will be invested within the next decade," Kasaizadeh was quoted as saying.
While Iran sits on top of huge gas reserves it imports as much of it from Turkmenistan as it exports to Turkey and has a long way to become a significant exporter.
The development of Iran's gas sector is hampered by a lack of productive investment and the growth of domestic consumption.
The National Iranian Gas Company said last week that gas production capacity stood at 630 million cubic metres (mcm) a day (22.25 billion cubic feet) of sour and sweet gas, the Etemad newspaper reported.
The state-run company put domestic consumption at 465 mcm per day and said that production figures for early November stood at 506 mcm a day, the paper added.
The nation of 70 million people has faced gas shortages due to high consumption, especially in winter. The high demand has led Iran to cut gas supply to Turkey several times in the past.
Iran exports around 24 mcm of natural gas to Turkey on a daily basis while it imports around 22 mcm a day from Turkmenistan.
Having signed agreements with China and Malaysia, the Islamic republic has been seeking to compensate for the absence of Western companies in its energy sector amid a nuclear standoff with the West.
Some major plans such as building three multi billion dollar natural gas liquefaction plants in the giant offshore South Pars gas field are still awaiting investors.
South Pars holds half of Iran's natural gas reserves but only eight phases of its 28-phase project have gone on stream for domestic consumption, fueling power plants as well as injection into low-pressure oil wells.
Each phase of the field located in the Gulf waters would yield 28 mcm of gas per day.
Iran, OPEC's second largest oil exporter, puts its gas reserves at 28 trillion cubic metres and has drafted ambitious exports plans to Asian, Middle Eastern and European countries.