Iran Discovers World's Largest Natural Gas Field

Posted by Mike Tirone - Monday, April 30th, 2012

This weekend Iran discovered “one of the biggest natural gas fields in the Middle East,” said one industry official.

The reserves at this field are comparable to those of the South Pars field, reported MehrNews.com, a semi-official news agency. 

Details of this discovery are limited, as the Iranian government has been the main source of information, but what has been reported is that this natural gas fields have been discovered in southwestern Khuzestan province and the comparisons to the South Pars field, which Iran and Qatar share, are the only substantial specs available.

The deposit which this record breaking gas field was discovered is already known to contain crude oil, and a 5000-meter (16,400- foot) well will be drilled “soon” to collect further information, said National Iranian Oil Co. Director for Exploration Mahmoud Mohaddes.

South Pars is the world's largest gas reserve, estimated to hold over 1,800 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Iran holds the world's second-largest gas reserves, with 29.6 trillion cubic meters, according to BP Statistical Review of World Energy in June 2011, while is home to the largest proven gas reserves in Europe and Eurasia. The biggest reserves in the world of the fuel still belongs to Russia.

With the rest of the world feeling that this energy fat cat just got a little fatter, take note that Iran still lacks significant amounts of necessary refining capabilities to meet the demand. The nation is drowning in their own energy-rich waters due to the inability to refine it, so much so that according to the Middle East's 2011 Oil and Gas Directory, the nation imports as much as 40% of its gasoline.

Lastly, it's crucial to see how quickly the energy landscape is changing due to such a important discovery. On Sunday, one of Pakistan's leading news resources, reported that the Pakistani Ministry of Gas and Natural Resources issued the notification of construction and commissioning tender for a gas pipeline from Iran to Pakistan.

From Pakistan's the Nation,

The project, according to the bid documents, is for a pipeline to transport high-end natural gas from an off-take point near the port city of Gwadar to a gas integration point near Nawabshah. Iran has offered $500 million to build the project, which is a sizeable portion of the estimated cost of $1.5 billion to $1.8 billion. This is a project which the USA opposes strongly, due its objections to Iran's nuclear programme. It has persuaded India to pull out, even giving it a civilian nuclear deal as a sweetener, and looks on Pakistan to follow suit. Pakistan cannot afford to ignore its national interests, because the energy shortage it faces has meant that industry has not been operating, and people have been thrown out of work. It has been resisting and will continue to resist external pressure, and ensure the completion of the project, which according to interstate gas systems is scheduled for completion in December 2016.

This pipeline plan is not limited to just gas either, Iran and Pakistan have agreed to extend the pipeline to crude oil. Negotiations have been set on the supply of 70,000- 80,000 barrels per day from Iran to Pakistan.

Although Iran is still not keeping up with demand with the energy-rich land it has stumbled upon, it still looks as though they have a neighbor in need that will happily lend a hand in taking some of its oversupply. A more stable Pakistan and thicker pocketed Iran does not rest easily on the mind of those fearful of nuclear advancements in the Middle East.

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