Iran to double production capacity in 20 years

Iranian Petroleum Minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh said in Tehran that his country should double its oil production capacity by 2020, to easily handle a significant rise in energy consumption and a 2-3% fall in oil's share in the global energy consumption mix.

Nov 7th, 2000


TEHRAN�Iranian Petroleum Minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh said in Tehran that his country should double its oil production capacity by 2020, to easily handle a significant rise in energy consumption and a 2-3% fall in oil's share in the global energy consumption mix.

Addressing a conference in Tehran on the impact of Middle East and Caspian oil on global energy markets, he said: "If we take a conservative approach and estimate oil demand growth at 1.5% annually, it will amount to about 110 million b/d extra demand by the end of the new decade.

"Current trends indicate that [the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries] will be able to meet 50-55% of this additional demand, which would be equal to 60 million b/d of oil for all its members," he was quoted by the Iranian News Agency as saying.

Iran's share of OPEC production is presently 15%, he noted.

To increase its oil output, Iran has enhanced exploration operations, Zangeneh said. In the past 3 years, the country has added more than 26 million bbl of crude oil and about 850 billion cu m of natural gas to state reservoirs. That includes Azadegan, the biggest oil field discovered in the past 35 years; and Tanbak, Iran's largest sweet gas field, he said.

The Bangestan field, in southern Ahwaz, and the fields of Cheshmeh Khosh, Sarvesstan, Darkhovin, Foroozan and Esfandiar also have helped increase oil output, he said, adding that Iran's daily oil production capacity as of March was more than 4 million b/d.

But Zangeneh said for Iranian gas production to be increased "proportionate to domestic and regional needs, huge measures in the upstream and downstream sectors are necessary."

He touched on agreements signed for the development of the gigantic South Pars field.

To best utilize the country's huge gas reserves, he said, efforts are underway to replace domestic petroleum products with gas.

Zangeneh said Iran's basic priority in its energy policy is to export liquefied natural gas to neighboring states via pipelines.

He criticized the "politically motivated exaggerations" made over Caspian reserves, noting that exploration studies proved the existence of huge oil structures in the deeper sectors of the sea.

"The sooner the Caspian legal status is resolved, the better the littoral states' interests will be served," stressed the minister.

The other important issue, Zangeneh noted, was the reinforcement of oil, gas and petroleum product deals and exchanges in the region.

More in LNG