In a paper delivered at the AustralAsian Oil & Gas Conference yesterday, Hedayat Omidvar, a senior official from the company, said Iran holds about 18% of global gas reserves.
“These are the second largest gas holdings in the world and roughly 10 times Australia’s proven reserves,” Omidvar said.
“Iran is eyeing off a number of the big LNG customers that Australian LNG companies are dealing with.
“The country believes the strategic role of the Persian Gulf and the huge amount of gas reserves available in this area has provided a very good opportunity for Iran to export gas to energy-hungry countries.”
Omidvar admitted that gas had long been “overshadowed” by oil as a major energy source in Iran and the National Iranian Oil Company had failed to prioritise gas.
“Fortunately, the importance of gas and its by-products has led to gas industry liberalisation becoming a major program for the Iranian Government in the 21st century,” he said.
“This rapid expansion in gas developments will dramatically change the energy picture in Iran by the end of the current decade.”
But he said despite the high added value that can be created by the gas industry, finding the necessary finance to achieve the country’s aims was still a problem.