Iran Eyes $85 Billion Investment to Up Gas Exports
Source: AFP (12/13/09)
". . .the Islamic republic has been seeking to compensate for the absence of Western companies in its energy sector. . ."
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 said.
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.