Iran Gas Output Growth Slows
Iran’s gas output stood at 267bn m3 in the fiscal year to March 20, state-run gas company NIGC, announced April 5. That was despite residential and industrial demand both rising. According to official statistics obtained by NGW, this was up just 2.85% from 259.6bn m³ year on year, marking the lowest output growth rate since 2012.
Iran’s oil minister Bijan Zanganeh had earlier claimed that production from South Pars – which accounts for a quarter of the country’s total output – surpassed 800mn m3/d. But NIGC’s new report says the country as a whole produced 731mn m3/d.
The company also says exports grew 26% yr/yr to 17.5bn m3. Iran exports gas to Iraq and Turkey, barters gas for Armenian electricity and swaps gas with Azerbaijan. Last winter, Iraq announced that Iranian gas imports were down to 3-4mn m3/d, about 12-15% of summer flow rates.
During winter, Iran’s domestic gas demand exceeded 600mn m3/d in some weeks, leaving lower room for other sectors, especially exports. Turkey’s official statistics show a slight decline in Iranian gas imports in 2019, to around 7.7bn m3. Therefore, it is expected Iran’s gas flow to Iraq, for which no year-round data is yet available, rose significantly in summer.
Iran has an obligation to export 50mn m3/d gas to Iraq, but US issues temporary waivers to Iraq to only import Iranian gas in a restricted volume. NIGC says housing demand during last fiscal year increased 9% yr/yr to 112bn m3, while delivers to industrial sector grew 7% to 42.5bn m3. Delivers to power plants also reached 61bn m3, it said without elaborating annual changes. However, according to official statistics, seen by NGW, the gas-to-power volume in the previous year, ended March 2019, was 68bn m3.