Iran plans to increase its daily gas production by approximately 100 million cubic meters (mcm) in the current Iranian year (started March 21, 2014), a senior energy official announced.

Iranian Deputy Oil Minister Mansour Moazzami said on Friday that Iran’s gas production is expected to increase by 80 to 100 mcm per day in the current Iranian calendar year.

In mid-February, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called on the oil ministry to increase output in the oil and gas fields Iran shares with Qatar, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

“The issue of joint oil and gas reserves and utilizing these resources is a priority by the 11th government,” President Rouhani said during a surprise visit to the Oil Ministry at the time.

The Iranian president said that the country is presently in a situation that should increase its interactions with other countries, but of course, within the framework of national interests.

Rouhani had made similar remarks during a visit to Darhkoveyn oil region in the Southwestern Khuzestan province in January.

The president said his government fully backs stepping up development of shared oil and gas fields, underlining the importance of deploying state of the art technologies for the development of the fields.

"We stretch out our hand towards everyone who performs the task cheaper and better," he said.

Referring to the importance of the oil in development of the country, Rouhani said that over the past decades oil had gone beyond mere an economic issue has played a strategic role in the country.

He added oil plays an effective role in the region an in the world saying those who say the Persian Gulf War was a war for oil are right, because many wars take place for the sake of oil.

The volume of actual oil production and oil production capacity are among the elements of national power and our capabilities to recover oil implies the country’s might in view of science and management, the president said.

The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) has laid increasing emphasis on its plan in the last two years to boost oil extraction in joint fields.

Member of the NIOC Board of Directors Abdolmohammad Delparish said last year that plans were already underway to boost the output to 950,000 barrels per day by 2015 (end of the fifth five year development plan).

Meantime, former NIOC Managing-Director Ahmad Qalebani said two years ago Iran's daily oil and gas outputs should respectively increase to 5 million barrels and 1.47 billion cubic meters by 2015.

Iran has attached priority to boosting gas production capacity from its joint oilfields with Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

“The Qatari side is extracting three times more gas than us in the South Pars gas field, while the figure might even be higher than this,” Qalebani said then.

The South Pars gas field is located in the Persian Gulf, North of Iran's maritime border with Qatar.

The Iranian share, which is divided into 24 phases, has about 14 trillion cubic meters of gas, or about eight percent of the total world reserves, and more than 18 billion barrels of liquefied natural gas resources.

Qatar plans to cooperate with Iran to develop its share of the world's biggest gas field so that both countries can reap the maximum long-term rewards, sources at state-run Qatar Petroleum (QP) said in 2012.

The giant gas field beneath the waters of the Persian Gulf, which Iran calls South Pars and Doha calls the North Field, accounts for nearly all of Qatar's gas production and around 60 percent of its export revenues.

The massive Arash field's reserves are believed to contain around 20 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas.

The field is shared by Iran, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia where it is known as 'Dorra' and is a contested area between Tehran and Kuwait.

Kuwait claims it owns more than 50 percent of the field, while Iran believes that the two countries have equal shares.

The Persian Gulf state has voiced its pleasure in the expansion of cooperation with Iran amid signs that western sanctions might ease after it signed a deal with the world powers in Geneva in November.

News ID 186536