OPEC data cited in a Sunday report by the IRIB News showed that Iran had produced a total of 262.261 billion cubic meters (bcm) (9.26 trillion cubic feet) of natural gas last year, up from 257.119 bcm reported in 2021.
Iran was the third largest gas producer in the world in 2022 after the United States and Russia and its output was nearly 50 bcm more than that of China, showed the figures.
US gas output rose by 3.7% to 1.0015 trillion cubic feet last year while Russia’s production dropped 12.3% to630.759 bcm.
Total gas production in the world dropped by 0.1% last year compared to 2021, OPEC data showed.
Iran’s exports of natural gas also rose by 2% to 18.79 bcm in 2022, according to the same figures which also indicated that domestic consumption of gas in Iran had increased by 4.3% compared to 2021.
Iran’s exports of natural gas had increased by 59.9% in 2021 compared to 2020 when the country faced a sudden rise in domestic demand for heating and electricity generation.
Imports of natural gas into Iran remained flat at zero in 2022, according to the OPEC data.
Iran has managed to expand its natural gas sector in recent years despite sanctions imposed by the US which restrict the country’s access to foreign technology and investment.
Latest figures by the Iranian Oil Ministry show that daily gas production in the country has exceeded 1 bcm.