EghtesadOnline: Despite difficulties including geostrategic challenges and the recent coronavirus pandemic, Iran has made noticeable progress in its energy sector.
Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said this at the 22nd annual ministerial meeting of Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) held via videoconference on Thursday, the Oil Ministry news portal reported.
“Relying on domestic human resources, knowhow and investment, we have reached a sustainable production level of one billion cubic meters of gas a daily.”
According to the minister almost 95% of the total 82 million population in Iran have access to piped gas.
Iran’s oil and petrochemical industries have made great strides in terms of home-grown technology and completing the value chain, he said.
“Long-term forecast for natural gas demand indicates that by 2050, the share of natural gas in the global energy mix will increase from the current 23% to 28%.”
Nevertheless, the share is not enough to achieve targets set by the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs) and climate change, especially over 30 years.
“The GECF needs to explore new vistas for expanding gas use and achieve the 30% share in the global energy mix by 2050.”
Expanding and applying decarbonization technology in the production and transmission of natural gas and the development of blue hydrogen production technology are among ways to enhance gas consumption in the energy transition period.
Zanganeh said despite all odds, including the Covid-19 pandemic, geostrategic challenges that slow global economic growth and the changing pattern of gas consumers, better days lie ahead for the GECF and other gas producers.
“In the last four years the international community has experienced a big blow to is efforts to expand effective cooperation, multilateralism, sustainable development, and to a certain extent, globalization.”
Cross Atlantic relations have been disturbed, US-China trade war has negatively influenced global economic growth, US withdrawal from international treaties and achievements, including the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), that constituted the results of years of painstaking multilateral negotiations, are all indications of a paradigm shift in international relations, the minster said.
He went on to say that materialization of the lofty goals of establishment of the GECF demands meaningful cooperation, coordination and an apolitical energy environment.
Addressing the ceremony, Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, CEO of Qatar Petroleum said, “While fossil fuels will continue to dominate the global energy mix, natural gas will be the only form of hydrocarbons to increase its share during the next three decades. Today, the share of natural gas in the global energy mix is about 22%. By 2050, this is expected to rise to 28%.”
Also, Yury Sentyurin, the GEFC secretary general, highlighted the importance of natural gas and its huge potential as energy source for sustainable development due to the efficiency, availability, and eco-friendly nature of the resource.
Natural gas has emerged as the fasted growing fossil fuel in recent years, accounting for 45% of the rise in energy consumption in 2018, according to the International Energy Agency.
Led by China and the Middle East, the IEA sees global demand for natural gas growing more than four times faster than demand for oil over the next two decades.
The GEFC said it wants to further promote the use of natural gas as an "environmentally-friendly" transport fuel including for global shipping. The gas organization includes the world's biggest gas exporters -- Russia, Qatar and Iran -- and holds around 60% of the world's proven gas reserves.