oilbahrain_1916317b
Iran has unveiled plans to double its oil production by the end of the decade and, ignoring sanctions, pump billions of dollars of its currency reserves into developing its share of the world’s largest natural gas reservoir in the Persian Gulf. The country’s new oil minister, Bijan Zanganeh, has set a new output target of 5.7m barrels per day (bpd) of crude by 2018, according to the official state-run news agency Shana. The latest figures produced by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec), show that Iran is currently pumping about 3m bpd of crude. Tehran is also sending strong signals to the international community that it plans to press ahead with the development of vast natural gas reserves that it shares with Qatar in the Persian Gulf. Moshtaq Ali-Gohari, head of the National Iranian Oil Company, told Shana over the weekend that the Islamic republic plans to invest almost $14bn (£8.3bn) to develop oil and gas fields that it shares with neighbours in the region. This could signal that Tehran is preparing for the further development of the South Pars field in the Gulf. South Pars, combined with Qatar’s North Dome area, is estimated by the International Energy Agency (IEA) to hold 1,800 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 51bn barrels of natural gas condensate – a high-value type of petroleum. The area has made Qatar the largest shipper of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the world and a global energy superpower. Discovered in 1990, the development of South Pars area has been plagued by technical problems, contractual disputes and the imposition of sanctions that forced international oil companies (IOCs) to step back. More