By: Zack Duvall
Iran is set to see a sharp increase in natural gas output capability, and as a result, a dramatic rise in exports and state revenue. Iranian Deputy Oil Minister, Amir Hossein Zamaninia, took the opportunity during a press conference in Istanbul, Turkey, on Wednesday, to announce Iran’s first major deal since the Obama administration led an effort to ease international sanctions against Iran last year, which Zamaninia cited directly.
“With the contracts signed last week, with the Chinese company, and Total, and The Iranian company, that is a very good indication that the assessment by international oil companies is that the return of sanctions is very unlikely, if not impossible.” Zamaninia said during his statement to reporters.
The deal that Zamaninia is referencing is a tri-lateral deal between France’s largest oil company Total, Chinese state-owned oil company CNPC, and National Iranian Oil Co. subsidiary Petropars. The deal is an investment by the companies at 50.1%, 30%, and 19.9% respectively in the South Pars gas fields, which Iran shares with industry rival Qatar.
The deal is one of others by international entities, although none as lucrative for Tehran, that is expected to see Iran increase its natural gas output to 1 billion cubic meters a day by the end of the year, up from the current 800 mcm a day that Iran is currently producing.
Zamaninia also expressed confidence that based on the interest of global firms, and the investment Tehran is willing to allow in Iranian gas production, that export numbers could be as high as 365 mcm a day, a rate higher than the world’s current leading liquefied natural gas producer, Qatar.