By Rahim Zamanov - Trend:
The National Iranian Gas Company currently supplies gas to some 86 percent of the country's total population, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said, the IRNA News Agency reported on Dec. 28.
"The oil ministry's top priority is to develop the South Pars gas field," he said.
Iran has faced a severe gas shortage this year.
Zanganeh said on Nov. 29 that the coming winter will be the hardest one in the country's history in terms of gas shortage.
However, Zanganeh said that Iranians will face no difficulty in the season, the IRNA News Agency reported.
The National Iranian Gas Company announced on Dec. 21 that it has limited gas supply to petrochemical plants with the oil ministry's approval.
Based on the oil ministry's order, the NIGC can cut gas supply to petrochemical complexes for 2 months and industrial units for 4 months in case of severe shortage, the statement reads.
However, currently some 30 million cubic meters of gas per day is being supplied to industrial units, while petrochemical units receive 20 million cubic meters per day, the statement added.
Chairman of the Association of Iranian Petrochemical Producers, Ahmad Mahdavi, said on Dec. 21 that the NIGC has halted supplying gas to some petrochemical complexes, while reducing supply to some others, the Mehr News Agency reported.
"NIGC's total gas supply to petrochemical complexes has been halved," he explained.
He went on to note that in a normal situation the petrochemical complexes daily consume 35 - 40 million cubic meters of gas, but the gas shortage in recent months has forced NIGC to limit the 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 development of the South Pars gas field as the main reason behind Iran's gas shortage in this year's winter.
The company has also stopped supplying gas to some industrial unit due to the gas shortage.
Edited by C.N.