EghtesadOnline: The national gas grid will be completed in three years after which the entire country will have access to the network by 2023, managing director of Iran Gas Company said at the weekend.
“Gas meets 70% of the country’s energy need and extending gas network is one of the strengths of the gas industry as it helps transfer energy from refineries in remote areas to urban and rural areas,” the Oil Ministry news website Shana quoted Hassan Montazer-Torbati as saying.
Data released by the National Iranian Gas Company shows 260 billion cubic meters of gas can be supplied across the country annually making Iran the fourth largest gas grid in the world after the US, Russia and Canada.
By 2025, the length of gas pipelines is planned to increase by 9,000 kilometers after which annual gas supply capacity will reach 400 bcm, Financial Tribune quoted him as saying.
"The length of gas pipelines was 36,000 km in 2017 and 1,000 km was added in 2018. The national grid will extend to 45,000 km in eight years."
Iran is rapidly expanding its gas supply infrastructure as it looks to raise daily gas production to 1 billion cubic meters by 2020 from the present 800 million cubic meters.
Iran exports natural gas to Iraq, Turkey and Armenia, but supply to Armenia is meager compared to the other two countries.
“This year we will export 35 million cubic meters per day of gas to Iraq and 30 mcm to Turkey,” Montazer-Torbati said.
Iraq purchases gas from Iran to operate its power stations. Iraq’s electricity needs are said to be growing by 7% per annum.
The Arab neighbor needs more than 23,000 MW to meet rapidly growing domestic demand. Years of war, civil strife, terror attacks and the US invasion in 2003 almost destroyed its power infrastructure.
Turkey is dependent on imports for almost all of its energy needs and Iran is a key gas and oil supplier. Nearly 40% of Turkey’s electricity is from gas-fired plants.
Based on a 20-year contract, Iran supplies gas to the northwestern neighbor and imports electricity in exchange.
According to the agreement, which was signed in 2004 and took effect in 2009, Iran's natural gas is used by Armenian power plants to produce electricity that also is exported to Iran.
Tehran receives 3.2 kilowatt-hours of electricity from Yerevan in exchange for 1 cubic meter of natural gas per day. Iran now exports 1.6 mcm of gas to Armenia on a daily basis.
Regarding gas export to Pakistan, Montazer-Torbati said Iran has fulfilled its commitment regarding the construction of the gas pipeline inside Iranian territory (1,172km pipeline from Asalouyeh to the joint border) and is waiting for the eastern neighbor to do its share and complete the 785km on its territory.
“We think the recent meetings between the two sides will help resolve the issue,” he added.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan met President Hassan Rohani in Tehran two weeks last month and discussed issues of mutual interest, including the long-pending joint gas pipeline.
If and when the gas pipeline is complete, Iran will initially transfer 30 mcm of gas per day and eventually increase it to 60 mcm.