Economía 20-07-2017

Analysis: The new actor in the Global Energy

Iran has the second largest natural gas reserves in the world. For five years they have been at 1,187 Tcf (Trillions of cubic feet), the majority still undeveloped due to the international sanctions that weigh on that country at present and to the postponements in the development of its deposits. Despite these factors, the current Iranian government has been undertaking projects in this area, the most recent project was announced by President Hasan Rohaní, who has been developing gas megaprojects during this year, the last one was last April at the site of Gas from Pars Sur, the world's largest hydrocarbon shared with Qatar, where they have invested in a series of projects with a $ 20 billion investment.

The projects include the 17, 18, 19, 20 and 21 phases of the site, which have platforms at sea to extract hydrocarbons, and are located in the Persian Gulf with refineries ashore. In addition to the entry into operation of each of them which is a production center for the country also allow Iran to increase its gas production by 150 million cubic meters per day and condensed gas by 200,000 barrels. The president has indicated during these months that Pars Sur is "Iran's launch platform for the progress expected by the people" and assured that it is part of the mega gas project for the country's oil and gas industry. "We are witnessing the largest investment in the gas, oil and petrochemical industry (in the history of Iran) developed entirely by Iranian engineers and workers," he said.

In addition to this, other projects have been approved, such as an oil field in Pars Sur with a current extraction capacity of 30,000 barrels per day and four petrochemical projects. This project is "a dream come true", according to Rohaní, who expressed hope that a production of 60,000 barrels will be achieved in the near future. In the last four years, Iran's gas production has doubled and now stands at around 575 million cubic meters per day.

Currently Pars Sur has 18% of the planet's gas reserves, with an area of 9,700 square kilometers, of which 3,700 are in the Iranian sector.

More probabilities

More than 60% of Iran's natural gas reserves are found on the high seas, with non-associated deposits representing around 80% of proven national gas reserves. Pars South is to date the largest gas field, accounting for 27% of Iran's total proved reserves and 35% of the country's natural gas production. Pars North, Kish and Kangan are the other large Iranian natural gas fields. For the development of these projects is used the workforce of Iranian engineers and architects while those responsible for the infrastructure, transportation and distribution of natural gas throughout the national territory are conducted by the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), through (NISOC) and Pars Oil & Gas Company (POGC), the natural gas resource development and production manager in the country and the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC).

Iran's participation in the global gas market is not very important, but its large proven reserves have made the country consider the gas market as a long-term strategy that generates benefits for the development of the nation's hydrocarbon structure. One of the benefits that the nation has is the land connections with its neighbors. Despite unsuccessful efforts to build a liquefied natural gas plant, its geopolitical location gives it the opportunity to transfer gas through pipelines as far afield as China, via Pakistan and India; Syria and Lebanon, via Iraq and Europe through Turkey. At the level of consumption, European economies have sought safe and diversified sources of energy, including gas, which is directly related to the closure of Russia's faucet to Ukraine and Belarus in 2009 when the costs of the huge dependence Of Russian natural gas.

These Iranian megaprojects could alleviate Europe's energy concerns because it is too dependent on Russia. Iran could send its gas to Europe through the corridor in Turkey and could possibly play a role in the Nabuco gas pipeline project: Iran, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Austria. As Iran strives to access safe gas markets and reliable technologies, European companies could be guaranteed gas supplies by investing in Iran.

The geographical location of Iran also allows it to be a corridor for the transport of energy from the Caspian Sea and Central Asia to the Persian Gulf and Middle East. In Iran, most natural gas fields are in the south, but the highest energy consumption occurs in the north. Therefore, facilitating exports of caspian energy would not lead to major reform or logistical readjustment. Iran could transport crude from the Caspian Sea and process it at its refineries in Tehran and Tabriz. In return, it could exchange the same amount of crude oil to customers in the Persian Gulf. Inland gas reserves in the Caspian Sea and Central Asia could also reach Europe through Iran.

The development of these projects for the country could lead to a final agreement as the energy industry would suffer an immediate reduction of the sanctions.

Its proven reserves, coupled with its geographical and geopolitical position could make it play a major role in global energy supply and security in the future, energy regulation and a future without sanctions.


It has the largest amount of natural gas reserves in the world. It has about 1,688 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of proven reserves since January 2013, which accounts for about a quarter of the total proven gas reserves.


It has the third largest reserves of natural gas in the world, standing since December 2012 its proved reserves at 885.3 Tcf. It accounts for about 13% of the world's total natural gas reserves, while positioning itself as the largest LNG-supplying country.


It has the fourth largest reserves of natural gas in the world, standing since December 2012 its proved reserves at 353.1 Tcf. Nevertheless, the country faces challenges in the development of its gas reserves due to its distant location of the final markets.


It ranks fifth in the ranking with proven natural gas reserves of 334.07 Tcf since January 2013. The country's proven gas reserves have steadily increased since 1999 with the expansion of exploration and development.

Saudi Arabia

It has the sixth largest reserves of natural gas in the world since December 2012. Recent reports indicate that its proven reserves at 290 Tcf, including shared gas reserves in the Saudi-Kuwait Neutral Zone and oil, such as Ghawar ashore.

United Arab Emirates

They have the seventh largest gas reserves in the world, standing since December 2012 their proved reserves at 215.1 Tcf. Despite vast gas reserves, most of them in Abu Dhabi, the country imports natural gas, mainly from Qatar.


It has the eighth largest reserves of natural gas in the world, standing since December 2012 its proved reserves in 195 Tcf. The amount of associated gas in Venezuela reaches almost 90% of its natural gas reserves, and plans to increase its production.


It is the largest oil producer in Africa, with the world's ninth largest natural gas reserves, with reserves proven since December 2012 at 182 Tcf. Most of the country's natural gas reserves are in the Niger Delta.


It produced 2.8 Tcf of natural gas in 2012, Sonatrach being the leading company in gas production in the country. Other companies involved in its production that have been progressively incorporated are Eni, BP, Repsol, GDF Suez and BG Group.

Energia 16