Iran intends to ramp up gas production by 2021, Amir Hossein Zamaninia, deputy minister of Petroleum for Trade and International Affairs, said Tuesday at the World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul.
Iran's gas production is expected to reach around 1,365 million cubic meters and oil production and is projected to stand at nearly 5.7 million barrels per day by 2021, Zamaninia said.
"We think that gas will supersede oil in a few years in the global energy basket," Zamaninia stated during the Congress, of which Anadolu Agency is the global communication partner.
“We are right now negotiating with other international companies and we hope to sign about 10 contracts, over the next 10 months,” he said.
Zamaninia reiterated that Iran has the largest reserves of gas in the world, holds the world's fourth-largest proved crude oil reserves, and the world's second-largest natural gas reserves, according to the Energy Information Administration's data.
"At present, we produce somewhere around 800 million cubic meters per day and close to 900 million. By the end of this year we expect to produce somewhere around 1 billion cubic meters of gas," he added.
The country also produces 3.7 million barrels of oil per day, according to OPEC data.
Asked about the U.S. reapplying sanctions on Iran, Zamaninia affirmed that there is a difference between rhetoric and deeds.
"Indeed, the U.S. new administration renewed waivers that they were supposed to do under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA] on May 19, which President Donald Trump signed and renewed." he said.
This action was in line with Trump's campaign rhetoric and "he renewed all the waivers necessary on the basis of the JCPOA."
Zamaninia said the recent agreement between Iran's Petropars, Total and Chinese CNPC was a very good indication that from assessment of international oil companies, a return to the era of sanctions is very unlikely.
Iran signed a new contract at the beginning of July to develop Phase 11 of the world's largest gas field development project, the South Pars gas field with French Oil Company, Total, and China National Petroleum Corporation.
Asked about the prospective pipeline project to take Iranian gas to Europe via Turkey, Zamaninia said, "If it is viable, it will be something that we will be taking quite seriously. Its viability is the question that we are now considering,” he explained.