EghtesadOnline: The National Iranian Gas Company says it has invested $17 billion in natural gas infrastructure over the past seven years.
“The big part [of the money] went for completing the South Pars Gas Field phases and the Iran Gas Trunkline (IGAT) to expedite gas delivery to remote rural areas, power plants and industries,” the company head, Hassan Montazer-Torbati, was quoted as saying by IRNA.
He said construction of IGAT 6 and 9, expanding the gas network to small towns and villages in faraway areas in the southern regions and construction of gas supply pipelines and compressor stations were among the priorities.
“Eight phases of SP Pars Gas Field in the Persian Gulf came on stream in the past seven years.” Phases 13, 14, 15, 16, 19 and 22-24 have become operational since 2013.
"SP daily output has surpassed 700 million cubic meters from 280 mcm/d seven years ago," he said, adding that in the fiscal 2013-14, 42% of the power plants’ feedstock was liquefied fuel, such as diesel and mazut, but that has been cut to barely 2%.”
SP has 24 phases all of which (except for Phase 11) are now operational. The field, which Iran shares with Qatar, covers 9,700 square kilometers, 3,700 square kilometers of which (South Pars) are in Iran’s territorial waters. The remaining 6,000 square kilometers (known as North Dome) is in Qatari waters.
Rural Gas Supply
According to Montazer-Torbati, connecting remote regions and villages to the national distribution network is high on the agenda.
“Around 18,000 rural areas have been connected to the gas grid since 2013.”
More than 33,000 villages, constituting 88% of the rural population are now connected to the grid, he said.
There are 10,000 rural districts (mostly in Sistan-Baluchestan Province) that are still deprived of the natural gas.
Torbati says the gas network can pave the way for small businesses like animal husbandry, greenhouses, bakeries and service centers can and should contribute to welfare.
“About 95% of equipment used in the gas industry is produced domestically. In the past 10 years, the share of Iranian equipment in NIGC projects has risen from 70% to 95%, up 35%.”
Referring to gas exports to neighbors, he noted that the volume increased by 3.6 billion cubic meters last year (ended in March), up 26% compared to the year before.
The surge in exports came despite significant increase in domestic consumption. Total gas production in the previous year reached 270 billion cubic meters.
Domestic gas output has reached 1 billion cubic meters a day, a major part of which comes from SP.
IGAT is a series of nine large diameter pipelines built to supply gas from refineries in the south (Khuzestan and Bushehr provinces) across the country.
IGAT-1 is 42 inches in diameter and lies between Bid Boland Refinery in Khuzestan Province and Astara port in the northern Gilan Province.
IGAT-2 connects Fajr Refinery in Bushehr Province and Qazvin Province in the north.
IGAT-3 extends from Asalouyeh to Markazi Province and ultimately reaches Gilan Province.
Stretching 1,145 kilometers, IGAT-4 with a capacity of 110 mcm/d, transfers gas produced in SP phases 1 to 5 in Assalouyeh to Fars and Isfahan provinces.
IGAT-5 transfers sour gas from South Pars phases 6, 7 and 8 to Khuzestan Province for injection into oil wells to boost extraction.
IGAT-6 transfers gas from South Pars to southern and western regions namely Hamedan and Kermanshah Provinces. IGAT-7 stretches 900 km between Asalouyeh and Iranshahr in Sistan-Baluchestan Province.
The 56-inch-diameter IGAT-8, stretching over 1,000 km, transfers 110 mcm of gas from South Pars to the central parts of the country on a daily basis.