Iran limits gas supply to petrochemical complexes

Business Materials 22 December 2013 11:54 (UTC +04:00)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 21

By Rahim Zamanov - Trend:

The National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) has suspended gas supply to some petrochemical complexes, while reducing supply to some others, Chairman of the Association of Iranian Petrochemical Producers, Ahmad Mahdavi said on December 21, the Mehr News Agency reported.

"NIGC's total gas supply to petrochemical complexes has been halved," according to Mahdavi.

He went on to note that in normal situation the petrochemical complexes consume around 35 - 40 million cubic meters of gas per day, but the gas shortage in old months has forced NIGC to limit gas supply to petrochemical units.

"We are corresponding with the oil minister in regards to this issue," Mahdavi added.

He further referred to continued delays in developing of South Pars gas field as the main reason behind Iran's gas shortage in this year's winter.

The Mehr News Agency reported on December 20 that western provinces of Iran, especially the northwestern province of West Azarbaijan, have faced gas shortage and low gas pressure in the past 48 hours.

The NIGC blames technical problems for the gas shortage.

It is while the company has suspended gas supply to some industrial units due to the gas shortage.

The country's power plants currently use fuels including gas oil and kerosene instead of gas.

Iran's power plants need about 140-150 million cubic meters of gas per day, but with the gas shortage the country is facing, the power plants have turned to consuming gas oil or kerosene.

Following a severe cold weather in a number of provinces, Iran warned people about a possible natural gas supply cutoff in winter due to the harsh cold season on December 3.

Iranian Deputy Oil Minister Hamidreza Araqi urged households to economize the consumption of natural gas.

"If consumption is not limited, gas supply to power plants, industrial units, and households will be reduced," Araqi said, the Mehr News Agency reported on December 13.

Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said on November 29 that the coming winter will be the hardest one in the country's history in terms of gas shortage.

However, Zanganeh said that the Iranians will face no difficulty in the season, the IRNA News Agency reported.

The spokesman of National Iranian Gas Company, Majid Boujarzadeh, said on December 14 that some 422 million cubic meters of gas was consumed in Iran on December 13, which was a new high record in the current year, the Mehr News Agency reported

"During the past year, some 1.5 million subscribers have been added to the country's national gas network, which has led to an increase of 600,000 cubic meters per day in country's total consumption, he explained.

The managing director of National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company (NIOPDC), Mostafa Kashkouli, said on December 13 that Iran power plants' fuel consumption has reached 135 million liters per day in the ninth calendar month (which started on November 23), which is considered a new record, the ISNA News Agency reported.

According to Kashkouli, the average consumption of the plants was around 103 million liters in the mentioned period.

It was announced earlier this month that Iran's domestic gas consumption has reached nearly half a billion cubic meters per day.

The figure shows 9 to 10 percent increase compare to the same period of time previous year.

The increasing demand from household has caused gas shortage in some parts of the country.

Iran's households and business units' consumption currently stands at 340-345 million cubic meters which is 15-20 percent more than the same period previous year.

The Mehr News Agency previously reported that based on the data collected by Iran's Oil Ministry, the country needs over 700 million cubic meters of gas per day in the coming winter.

According to BP's latest yearly report, Iran's dried gas output is about 160 bcm, a little more than domestic consumption level.

Iran exported 7.5 bcm of gas to Turkey and imported 4.5 bcm gas from Turkmenistan in 2012, according to BP's report.