In several recent interviews with state-controlled outlets, Iranian energy officials have said they have suspended two of the country’s big LNG projects. Tehran said it is shifting its focus to building more gas pipelines.
Iran’s energy industry has long been hobbled by sanctions, a lack of foreign and domestic investment and technical challenges. Energy analysts have, in particular, viewed Iran’s timetable for becoming a major LNG power skeptically. Still, Tehran’s recent public statements about the program mark a significant shift for a government that has for years trumpeted its intention to create a significant LNG industry.
Iran has boasted it could one day export as much as 90 billion cubic meters per year of LNG. That compares with the more than 105 billion cubic meters that Qatar, the world’s largest LNG exporter, plans to ship this year. Iran currently doesn’t export any LNG.