The Iranian Oil Ministry plans to expand its underground gas storage (UGS) facilities in center and northeast of the country to allow better management of gas resources during cold winter months.
A Thursday report by semi-official Fars news agency said that Iran's UGS capacity will reach 6 billion cubic meters (bcm) by 2025, nearly double the current figure of 3.25 bcm.
Gas storage is typically filled during the summer season before being used in the winter. Iran has two UGS facilities, a relatively large one located near the northeastern city of Sarakhs under the name of Shurijeh and a smaller system located in Sarajeh near the central city of Qom.
However, the current storage capacity only accounts for 1.7% of the total annual gas production in Iran.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi was in Shurijeh on Thursday to order the start of construction works on a second phase of the storage system.
The project will take three years to finish and will need an investment worth $700 million. It will allow the transfer of another 20 million cubic meters (mcm) per day of natural gas from the storage.
The report by Fars said that a separate expansion project in Sarajeh in central Iran will bring the total gas storage capacity in the country to over 6 bcm by 2025 while daily gas transfer capacity from the two storage systems will reach 55 mcm.
Iran is one the largest producers and consumers of natural gas in the world. The country’s current output is estimated at about 1 bcm per day which is mostly supplied from the giant South Pars gas field in the Persian Gulf.
Natural gas is currently available to 99% of the urban population and 86% of the people living in the Iranian countryside through a 37,000-kilometer pipeline system.