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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: 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.

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  • (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) 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.