EghtesadOnline: Iran will see a steep rise in its natural gas output and exports after last year's easing of international sanctions, Deputy Oil Minister Amirhossein Zamaninia said on Tuesday, adding that recent deals with global firms show they believe sanctions will not come back.
Zamaninia, Iran's deputy oil minister for trade and international affairs, said on the sidelines of an energy conference in Istanbul that Iran's gas production would rise to 1 billion cubic meters a day by the end of the year from the current 800 million cubic meters per day, Reuters reported.
He said volumes available for export should reach 365 mcm/d by 2021, which is higher than the exports of the world's top liquefied natural gas producer Qatar.
France's Total signed a deal earlier this month to help Iran increase gas output from the giant South Pars Gas Field, which the country shares with Qatar, according to Financial Tribune.
Total will be the operator with a 50.1% stake, alongside Chinese state-owned energy company CNPC with 30% and National Iranian Oil Company's subsidiary Petropars with 19.9%.
The deal marked the first by a major global energy company signed with Iran since the easing of sanctions against Tehran in January 2016.
Zamaninia noted that the contracts were signed last week with the Chinese company, Total and an Iranian company, which confirms the assessment by international oil companies that the return of sanctions is very unlikely, if not impossible.
An NIOC official said in Istanbul on Monday that Tehran is planning to tender 14 oil and gas blocks for exploration in the next two to three months, with most of the new exploration blocks located in the Zagros, Koppeh Dagh and the Persian Gulf region.
BP, Austria's OMV, Gazprom and Lukoil as well as Italy's Edison and Malaysia's Petronas have reportedly expressed interest in the new exploration blocks.