With its 34tn cubic metres of natural gas, enough to satisfy current EU natural gas demand for 90 years, Iran has the biggest gas reserves in the world. Despite this rich natural endowment, the country has not yet translated potential into reality. Paradoxically, its natural gas production continues to be barely sufficient to satisfy its own domestic consumption.
There are two reasons for the under-exploitation of Iran’s natural gas resources: the international sanctions regime (which has targeted the country’s energy sector since 2007, completely halting the activities of international energy companies) and the country’s legal petroleum framework (the so-called ‘buyback scheme’, encumbered by very unattractive terms for international energy companies). Read more