London, June 13, IRNA - Iran consolidated its position last year as the fourth largest producer of both oil and natural gas in the world.
According to BP's latest annual Statistical Review, Iran's gas production increased in 2006 by 4.1 per cent to a record 94.5 million tonnes oil equivalent (mtoes), while oil output grew by 1.2 per cent to 209.8 mtoes.
Iran became the world's fourth largest producer of gas in 2005 behind Russia, the US and Canada, when it overtook the UK's declining output. The UK fell further back behind Algeria and Norway last year with production of 72 mtoes.
Also in 2005, Iran became the third biggest consumer of gas behind the US and Russia, when it again surpassed the UK. Iranian consumption further increased last year by 2.7 per cent to 94.6 mtoes.
Iran's gas consumption in line with growing production has more than doubled in the past decade. In 2001, the consumption of gas overtook oil to become the country's primary source of energy for the first time.
BP's review also showed that while Iran imported 5.8 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas (5.2 mtoes) by pipeline from Turkmenistan in 2006, it also exported 5.69 bcm to Turkey.
It also confirmed Iran's proven reserves of gas was the second biggest behind the Russia and represents 15.5 per cent of the world's total, nearly five times more than in the US.
Overall, the report found that global natural gas consumption grew by 2.5 per cent during 2006, less than the 3.4 per cent increase seen the year before with declining consumption in the US and Europe being partly offset with increases in Russia and China.
Global oil consumption was also the weakest since 2001, growing by 0.7 per cent as prices for Dated Brent crude averaged Dlrs 65.14, nearly 20 per cent more then in 2005.
Iran's oil reserves of 137.5 billion barrels was listed as the second highest in the world behind Saudi Arabia. In terms of current production, the reserves were calculated to last 86.7 years compared with less than 67 years for Saudi Arabia.
The review, which covers the world's current and historical energy trends, reported a 5.3 per cent rise in Iran's refinery capacity to 1.7 m barrels per day, far behind the capacities of 17 m in the US and 7 million in China.
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