Hossein Kazempour Ardebili, Iran’s OPEC governor, said on November 5th that his country plans to raise oil and natural gas production by more than 20 percent over the next five years.
Ardebili said that: “Iran aims to increase oil production to 5 million b/d by 2005,” up from its current output level of 3.9 million b/d. He also said that Tehran plans to boost gas production to 500 million cubic meters a day (mmcm/d) in the next five years, up from 170 mmc/d at present.
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zaganeh said on November 4th that Tehran would need to double its oil production by 2020 in order to meet growing demand and maintain its share of OPEC output.
Zaganeh said that: “If we take a conservative approach and estimate the growth of oil demand at 1.5 percent annually, it will amount to nearly 110 million b/d by 2020. Based on Iran’s share of 15 percent of the OPEC total we should nearly double our production capacity in this period.”
The minister indicated that Tehran has plans to develop six fields in southern Iran and the Gulf, in addition to exploring its portion of the Caspian Sea.
Construction is underway on a 32-inch pipeline to carry 330,000 b/d of Central Asian crude from the Caspian port of Neka to Tehran, and Iran has given the go ahead to three private companies to construct refineries in northern Iran to process the oil, according to deputy oil minister Mohammed Aghaei.
The three refineries at Babol, Amir Abad and North Golestan would have a combined refining capacity of 320,000 b/d.