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posted by LaminatorX on Monday March 03 2014, @11:30AM   Printer-friendly
from the you-don't-get-high-on-your-own-supply dept.

fx_68 writes:

"Despite holding the world's largest natural gas reserves, Iran's Energy Ministry has warned that the Islamic Republic is on course to become the world's largest importer of natural gas by 2025 unless it can rein in rampant domestic demand. Domestic consumption is surging as their gas network grows and more gas is needed to sustain output from aging oilfields."

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @11:35AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @11:35AM (#9983)

    Now they won't have to try and leech Australia dry

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by RobotMonster on Monday March 03 2014, @12:10PM

      by RobotMonster (130) on Monday March 03 2014, @12:10PM (#9998) Journal

      I don't understand your logic. TFS says "The Islamic Republic is on course to become the world's largest importer of natural gas by 2025".
      You got it backwards, perhaps?

      • (Score: 2) by frojack on Monday March 03 2014, @10:34PM

        by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 03 2014, @10:34PM (#10293) Journal

        TFS bears little resemblance to TFA. It looks like the submitter read the headlines, and that was all.

        IRAN does not have a shortage of gas.
        The have a shortage of gas wells, pipelines, and facilities.
        They have no funds to build these, and precious few construction companies with expertise want to work in the country, and those that do can't due to sanctions.
        Iran is currently burning its crude rather than selling as much as it would like.
        Their internal electrical generation is almost solely ancient oil based facilities.
        This ancient tech has around 13% efficiency, compared to between 60 and 70 per cent achieved by modern plants in other parts of the world.
        Iran's source of gas is as a byproduct of their Oil production, and they can't take as much gas as they need because of the need to keep well-head pressure up for oil production. Pure gas-only fields are rare in Iran.

        The biggest takeaway: Western sanctions were working way better than anyone imagined, and since those have been lifted oil trade is improving rapidly.

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by cmn32480 on Monday March 03 2014, @12:40PM

    by cmn32480 (443) <{cmn32480} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Monday March 03 2014, @12:40PM (#10008) Journal

    So they are running out of natural gas. They have oil reserves that are approximately 10% of the global total (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_reserves_in_Iran ). They will very soon (if not already) have a "peaceful use only" nuclear program (providing you believe what the government of Iran and the US are telling you).

    Perhaps Iran needs to jump on the bandwagon looking for alternative energy sources with the rest of the world.

    --
    "It's a dog eat dog world, and I'm wearing Milkbone underwear" - Norm Peterson
    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by carguy on Monday March 03 2014, @01:01PM

      by carguy (568) on Monday March 03 2014, @01:01PM (#10013)

      Quick googles and a check on wikipedia came up blank for fracking in Iran. Does anyone know if drillers in Iran have tried the latest and greatest (also nastiest?) extraction techniques? They may have a lot more natural gas than the current estimates...

      • (Score: 4, Informative) by VLM on Monday March 03 2014, @02:00PM

        by VLM (445) on Monday March 03 2014, @02:00PM (#10032)

        Fracking does nothing useful unless its a tight gas well. Low permeability. Would just be wasting money and enormous amounts of valuable water. I googled around a bit and there's no discussion of tight gas wells in Iran. Oman, which isn't that far away, yeah. But Iran isn't Oman.

        Tight is like a tootsie roll pop you gotta whack it with a hammer or acid or something to get at the stuff in the middle. "normal" gas wells are more like a sponge, if you whack it with a hammer its not going to help, it'll just make a mess and waste money (and water).

        Article did miss the meta problem with Iran and natgas exports, which is they don't bother even trying because of sanctions etc no one wants to sell them liquification gear. If "they" are making it hard to export, why even bother trying to export anyway, especially if you can use it locally?

        Its not just "if you live in an area with natgas you're in danger of being fracked" its "if you live in an area with tight gas you're in danger of being fracked". Geologists like to talk and my very limited search indicates theres no economically important tight gas in Iran.

        This is aside from the liquification issue, if people aren't willing to ship you simple cheap refrigeration gear, they're not sending you the exotic machinery required for fracking.

        You can want all you want, but if the local manufacturing technology is at the level of village blacksmith, unless you can negotiate with a foreigner willing to trade with you, AND outbid another foreigner at the same time, you're pretty much outta luck, no matter if its a liquification plant or fracking stuff. May as well process it into AN fertilizer and ship fertilizer instead, or just use it locally.

    • (Score: 2, Informative) by dj245 on Monday March 03 2014, @06:21PM

      by dj245 (1530) on Monday March 03 2014, @06:21PM (#10145)

      So they are running out of natural gas. They have oil reserves that are approximately 10% of the global total (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_reserves_in_Iran ). They will very soon (if not already) have a "peaceful use only" nuclear program (providing you believe what the government of Iran and the US are telling you).

      Perhaps Iran needs to jump on the bandwagon looking for alternative energy sources with the rest of the world.

      Like nuclear for example??? The way you state it, their development of nuclear electricity is a symptom of an energy problem, not their solution.

      They are running out of gas and some projections have them running out of oil sooner rather than later. Iran has a very high energy footprint- they are a modern country and most people can afford refrigerators, TVs, etc. They are pretty smart and realize this is going to be a problem in the near future, and nuclear electricity plants take decades to build and commission. Their pursuit of Nuclear electricity is because they are worried about their future energy needs. If you can admit this is what they are trying to do, all of their foreign policy, as well as their insistence on having the right to build nuclear power stations, makes perfect sense.

      Maybe Iran's biggest foreign relations problem is that their PR guy isn't any good.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by MrGuy on Monday March 03 2014, @01:18PM

    by MrGuy (1007) on Monday March 03 2014, @01:18PM (#10019)

    Despite Iran sitting on huge oil reserves, they've claimed they can't possibly meet domestic energy needs without a "peaceful" nuclear energy program.

    Now, just as international negotiations with Iran to allow them to keep their nuclear program as long as they keep it "peaceful" (at least for now), suddenly Iran's energy ministry (who are hardly an objective party) puts out a study claiming that Iran is about to have an energy crisis.

    I'm not saying it's not true - switching from gas to oil takes time, and exploiting oil reserves is not exactly an instant process. I'm just saying that it's pretty convenient for Iran to have just discovered an electricity crisis right when that fact would be useful to give it some leverage in international negotiations.

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by VLM on Monday March 03 2014, @02:19PM

      by VLM (445) on Monday March 03 2014, @02:19PM (#10042)

      You could just look at some graphs... There's a couple economic realities of extraction such as you never get to extract more than a fraction of the total using even the best tech, and generally speaking the faster you produce the lower your total aggregate yield.

      So, if it weren't for the revolution, they'd be in deep decline by now. As it is they peaked in oil production about a decade ago and are now in permanent decline. You can make lots of money post peak... USA peak in oil production was in the 70s and I don't see many domestic oilmen in the soup lines today. The ability to make money doesn't mean infinite steady growth in actual production of course. Meanwhile consumption has steadily ramped up since the revolution, so exports are getting squeezed both directions. Iran really doesn't have all that long left to sell natgas.

      Predictions are useless in the oil biz, all companies and governments lie about those. There are no publicly available scientific predictions in the biz, just marketing, and its been that way since I started researching and investing a long time ago. Historical production figures usually are honest. So look for the peak in historical data.

      Iran natgas production has quadrupled in the last decade. That's the good news. The bad news is production always declines faster than it increases. Always, across all cultures and economies. So much like the UK experience, once its all pumped out, Iran is going from a net producer to net importer in like 5 years. So it might be a good idea to set up an alternate plan beforehand.

      They might be telling a perfectly true energy story while still being total scammers WRT nukes, or the only reason its getting any real airtime is because they're a little scammy about nukes. But the fundamental energy story is in fact true.

      Iran is fundamentally for centuries something of a regional power, traditionally more moderate than their neighbors. Recent decades excursions into nuttiness seem to be burning out and moderating. WRT current foreign policy, which we as citizens have no input, we would be better off to be their friend in 2030 than still living in 1980 trying to relive the disco era.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by mmcmonster on Monday March 03 2014, @02:40PM

        by mmcmonster (401) on Monday March 03 2014, @02:40PM (#10050)

        Iran is fundamentally for centuries something of a regional power, traditionally more moderate than their neighbors. Recent decades excursions into nuttiness seem to be burning out and moderating. WRT current foreign policy, which we as citizens have no input, we would be better off to be their friend in 2030 than still living in 1980 trying to relive the disco era.

        Absolutely. The nuts in that region have quieted down. The worst thing we could do now is meddle (some more). Let them get their house in order and they'll hopefully again be a force of stability in the region.

        The people of Iran are relatively well off. Well off people avoid bloody revolutions.

    • (Score: 1) by Buck Feta on Monday March 03 2014, @03:58PM

      by Buck Feta (958) on Monday March 03 2014, @03:58PM (#10089) Journal
      This is spot on.

      And observe how well things worked out when North Korea "ran out of natural gas" back in the 90's.
      --
      - fractious political commentary goes here -
    • (Score: 2) by Angry Jesus on Monday March 03 2014, @06:45PM

      by Angry Jesus (182) on Monday March 03 2014, @06:45PM (#10154)

      I think you are suffering from confirmation bias, there is no particular timing to this story because Iran's been saying that oil and gas isn't enough for them for at least a decade.

      Here is one example from 2003. [nytimes.com]

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @09:23PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @09:23PM (#10242)

      I think Washington would be even happier if Iran ran out of natural gas, and could not get any to power its economy, and make Iran suffer.

    • (Score: 2) by frojack on Monday March 03 2014, @10:47PM

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 03 2014, @10:47PM (#10300) Journal

      I'm not saying it's not true - switching from gas to oil takes time, and exploiting oil reserves is not exactly an instant process. I'm just saying that it's pretty convenient for Iran to have just discovered an electricity crisis right when that fact would be useful to give it some leverage in international negotiations.

      First, they never did use much gas for Electrical generation. Their tech dates from the 50s and 60s.
      They always used oil, and used it poorly. (13% efficiency).
      Their gas industry looks like it can't keep up but their reserves are hardly tapped out.
      They have simply not developed their gas reserves enough to meet domestic needs, let alone export needs.

      The sanctions over their needlessly secretive nuclear pursuits prevented them from proper build out of modern gas extraction and efficient gas generation plants.

      Iran didn't discover an electrical crises, they suddenly woke up to the fact that the sanctions were hurting them way more than they ever understood. There are some very smart people in Iran, but they are ruled by a religious cabal who basically have a 6th grade education.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by gishzida on Monday March 03 2014, @02:52PM

    by gishzida (2870) on Monday March 03 2014, @02:52PM (#10055) Journal

    Legumes...

    • (Score: 2, Funny) by gishzida on Monday March 03 2014, @07:50PM

      by gishzida (2870) on Monday March 03 2014, @07:50PM (#10187) Journal

      Moderators: Where is your sense of humor? Have you no understanding of flatulence or its primary chemical content of said green house gas? After all whasn't that was what Beta was? Or could it be that are you unaware of what a Lugume is or have never seen Blazing Saddles? Alas I get docked two points for what? Sorry to say but were I able to meta-moderate your decisions in this case I would be sure you got bitch slapped for heavy handed Dice-Style Moderation.

      Alright I'll shut up now and lose the rest of my points for your failure.

  • (Score: 1) by MachineShedFred on Tuesday March 04 2014, @09:07PM

    by MachineShedFred (1656) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @09:07PM (#10960)

    I find it hard to believe that Iran could ever run out of methane, with the amount of bullshit the government is constantly offering forth.

    Ba dum PSH!