Iran pledges to match Qatari gas production by 2017

Iran pledges to match Qatari gas production by 2017

Iran's South Pars natural gas production will be equal to that of Qatar by March 2017, the Islamic Republic has vowed.

2 min read
10 June, 2016
Iran and Qatar share the natrual gas field [Getty]

Iran has said it will catch up to Qatar's output from the world's largest gas field, which it shares with the Gulf state by next year.

Managing Director of Pars Oil and Gas Company, Ali-Akbar Shabanpour, said on Wednesday that Iran will have an equal share with Qatar from the shared South Pars field by March 20, 2017.

"By the date phases 17, 18, 19, 20 and 21 of South Pars gas field will be operational," Shabanpour told Iranian state media.

"So far Iran failed to take its equal shares from the joint fields in the Persian Gulf due to technical shortfalls," he said.

Iran and Qatar share the field, which Iran calls South Pars and Qatar calls the North Field. It lies on their offshore Gulf border and accounts for nearly all of Qatar's gas production and about 35 percent of Iran's.

Iran's economy faces tough years ahead despite a nuclear deal with world powers that the government hoped would spur investment and revive stagnant growth, ministers have warned this week.

Speaking to members of parliament on Monday and Tuesday, the industry and interior ministers painted a bleak picture of chronic underinvestment, surging inflation and unemployment in the Islamic republic.

Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli warned on Monday that the country may achieve growth of only between 1.5 and three percent per annum.

"With that sort of growth, unemployment and inflation will double in the short term. We need foreign investment," he said.

His predictions fall far short of the growth target of eight percent President Hassan Rouhani set in January to tackle double-figure inflation and high unemployment.

Rouhani's government had hoped the lifting of economic sanctions following last year's nuclear deal would trigger an influx of billions of dollars from overseas to boost growth and create jobs in a country where around a quarter of young people are out of work.

Agencies contributed to this report.