Iran targets 2 million barrels-a-day lift

Iran plans to increase crude output by 2 million barrels a day from about 50 energy projects slated for investors at a conference in Tehran next month.

That is according to Roknoddin Javadi, the managing director of National Iranian Oil Company.

The package would also aim to boost natural gas production by 7 billion standard cubic feet, Mr Javadi said at a conference in Berlin.

Oil production is now about 2.8 million barrels a day, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Iran has the world’s largest gas reserves and the fourth largest oil reserves, according to BP figures. The country would need US$30 billion of investment over five years to boost oil production, starting with about 350,000 barrels of new output next year, Goldman Sachs said in a report.

The supplies could keep pressure on oil prices and delay the market’s return to balance, Henry Tarr, a Goldman analyst, said in the report.

Mr Javadi told the conference that “the global oil market will stay bearish in the short to medium term”.

The agreement in July by the United States, France, China, Russia, Britain and Germany to remove sanctions on Iran in exchange for curbs on its nuclear programme pointed to an early start next year if all conditions were met, said Mr Tarr.

Mr Javadi said potential investors would be asked to consider contracts over 20 to 25 years. Iran’s council of ministers endorsed a new model contract for the projects in a meeting chaired by president Hassan Rouhani in Tehran, the state-run Mehr news agency reported on Wednesday.

The conference is set for November 16 to 20 in Tehran. Another seminar about the projects is scheduled for October 19 to 21 in Tehran, with Bijan Zanganeh, Iran’s oil minister, set to attend. There is another conference set for London in February.

Iran needs 210 million cubic metres a year of natural gas, with production estimated to reach about 300 million cubic metres by the end of next year, according to Mr Javadi. That would leave up to 90 million cubic metres a year available for export.

Talks had been renewed with European Union countries to supply them with natural gas via pipeline and liquefied natural gas, with plans to bring its first LNG plant into operation within two and a half years.

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