August 11, 2016
Iran may pump its gas to the underground gas storages of Azerbaijan in the nearest future, said Amir Hossein Zamani Nia, Iran’s Deputy Oil Minister for International Affairs.
He said the issue was on agenda of the meeting between Iran’s Oil Minister and President of the Azerbaijan’s energy giant SOCAR.
“The issue is of great importance for Iran, and the Iranian gas will likely be pumped to the gas storage facilities of Azerbaijan soon. Currently, there are two underground gas storage facilities in Azerbaijan (Garadag and Kalmaz), the capacity of which is five billion cubic meters of gas, but about a third of the total volume is empty. Gas consumption in Iran significantly increases in the winter season, therefore storage of Iranian gas in the gas storages of Azerbaijan is considered to be an interesting offer for Iran,” he said.
He also mentioned that the two countries are discussing the possibilities of development of oil and gas deposits in the Caspian Sea, but the talks have not yielded any concrete results yet.
“Iran, Azerbaijan and Russia have a huge potential for the cooperation in the sphere of energy at the international level. We have also opportunities for the cooperation, which may allow to create a balance of demand and supply in the world oil market,” he added, mentioning that Iran is ready for holding discussions with Iran and Russia on the export of Iranian gas to European countries, despite the fact that the export of compressed natural gas (CNG) to more remote destinations is a priority for the country.
“Iran will be able to export some 200 million cubic meters of gas per day soon. At the same time, such destinations as the countries of the region and East Asia still remain priority for Iran. Main directions in the cooperation with Azerbaijan and Russia are extraction of hydrocarbon resources, their transportation, the sphere of petrochemistry and CNG. Iran possesses oil and gas projects in the Caspian Sea, which will be presented to foreign investors in the short run.”
Iran’s gas production in winter is less than the consumption in the country. But in summer Iran produces several billion cubic meters of surplus gas. The country stores some of the surplus gas in Shoorijeh and Sarajeh gas storage facilities. The two facilities located in Azerbaijan store only three billion cubic meters of gas, so Iran could store around 2 billion cubic meters of its surplus gas in the facilities, and receive them back in winter. Kalmaz storage is located 75 km southeast of Baku and was put into operation in 1955, while Garadag storage is located 25 km southeast of Baku and it was launched in 1954.