Despite sanctions, Iran has managed to hike gas output by 20%, or 3.5bn cfd, over the past year. But a repeat, without foreign cash or expertise, may be a step too far.

With just days to go till the Iranian New Year on 21 March, the country is close to hitting full capacity at the long-delayed 2.8bn cfd phase 12 of the supergiant offshore South Pars gas field it shares with Qatar, a key part of the Petroleum Ministry’s early-2014 pledge to boost domestic gas production by 100mn m3/day (3.53bn cfd), or around 20% of Iran’s total output, in the current Iranian year (21 March 2014 – 20 March 2015). (CONTINUED - 1995 WORDS)