TEHRAN- Iran is planning to become an exporter of technical and engineering services in gas sector, National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) Managing Director Hamidreza Araqi announced.
“We have already negotiated with some neighboring countries to export such services to them”, the official said in a press conference on Monday.
“We, in NIGC, have materialized quantity objectives in this due over the past two years and now we are working on the issue of quality and standard making which will lead to the exports of technical and engineering services”, the managing director noted.
Answering a question about NIGC’s gas export priorities, he said: “Supplying gas for domestic consumption in a safe and stable way is of higher significance to us, but we have the potential and capacity of exports.”
“We are currently export eight million cubic meters (mcm) per day of gas to Iraq which will rise to 50 mcm based on our contract with the neighboring country and we have also the capacity of export to the Persian Gulf countries”, Araqi further explained.
He said: “For gas export to Basra, we have been ready since the past two months and it is expected that the export will be commenced in the beginning of the next [Iranian calendar] year (late March) when the Iraqi side will be also ready.”
One of world’s largest gas pipeline network
Elsewhere in his remarks, the NIGC managing director said Iran holds one of the largest gas pipeline networks in the world.
He said the work on the sixth national gas pipeline with the length of 1000 kilometers is complete by 80-90 percent and the pipeline will be inaugurated in the next calendar year.
Some hard work in some difficult areas has been done for laying this pipeline and 70 trillion rials (about $1.45 billion) has been expended for it, the official underscored.
1bcm production capacity planned
Araqi further put the country’s daily gas production at 800 mcm and said the figure is planned to reach 1 billion cubic meters (bcm) based on the country’s Sixth Five-Year National Development Plan (2016-2021).
The sixth plan has also envisaged the daily gas export of 200 mcm, he added.
He also said that 92 percent of people (98 percent of people in the urban areas and 76 percent in the rural regions) in Iran enjoys natural gas at present.
Projects worth $2.5b to come on stream by next week
The official announced that 3,000 projects worth 120 trillion rials (about $2.5 billion) will be put into operation throughout the country on the occasion of Ten-Day Dawn (February 1-10, marking the victory anniversary of the Islamic Revolution).
He said of the figure some 90 trillion rials (over $1.87 billion) is for the pipelines and stations projects and the rest 30 trillion rials (about $625 million) is due to the projects for gas supplying to the rural areas.
*** Gas supplying to 5,000 villages underway
The NIGC managing director said that about 25,000 villages are currently enjoying natural gas and the projects to supply gas to 5,000 villages are underway, of which projects to supply gas to 3,000 villages will be commenced on the occasion of the Ten-Day Dawn.
He put the number of villages with no gas supply at 8,000 and anticipated that gas will be supplied to them by the next two years if necessary fund is allocated.