NIGC head urges Iranians to economize gas consumption

Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 8

By Rahim Zamanov - Trend:

National Iranian Gas Company's Managing Director, Hamidrez Araqi, on Jan. 7 urged households to economize on the consumption of natural gas, the IRIB News Agency reported on Jan. 8.

Araqi made the remarks in a televised interview.

Araqi, also the country's deputy oil minister, said that the country's gas consumption currently stands at around 576 million cubic meters per day.

"Households' consumption is around 483 million cubic meters per day which accounts for 84-85 per cent of the country's total consumption," he said.

"Households' gas consumption in Iran is 4.5 times more than Europe, 15 times more than Japan, and 1.5 times more than Africa," Araqi explained.

He went on to note gas consumption by the household sector has been increased by 50 million cubic meters per day in comparison to the previous year's winter.

It was reported in December that the gas supply to industries in Iran has been limited, while domestic gas consumption has reached a critical level due to a severe cold season.

Supplying gas to power plants has been limited, and the country's main industries including steel, cement and petrochemical industries have faced a gas shortage.

Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said on Dec. 28 that the National Iranian Gas Company currently supplies gas to some 86 per cent of the country's total population, the IRNA News Agency reported.

Zanganeh had previously said on Nov. 29 that the coming winter will be the hardest 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 National Iranian Gas Company announced on Dec. 21 that it has limited the gas supply to petrochemicals with the oil ministry's approval.

Based on the oil ministry's order, the NIGC can cut gas supply to petrochemical complexes for two months and industrial units for four 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.

Iran's power plants need 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 fuel oil or kerosene.

While Iran is having difficulty meeting its domestic gas consumption this winter, the country is still committed to its gas exports contracts.

Iran is currently exporting 20-22 million cubic meters of gas to Turkey, the Mehr News Agency reported on Jan. 7.

Under an agreement between Tehran and Ankara, the Islamic Republic should export up to 30 million cubic meters of gas daily to its northwestern neighbor.

In 1996, Iran and Turkey signed a 25 year agreement to supply 10 billion cubic meters of gas to Turkey annually.

Iran plans to increase its gas transfer capacity to Turkey and European countries up to 50 million cubic meters per day.

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 of gas from Turkmenistan in 2012, according to BP's report.

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