Iran's sweet gas usage above production level

By Dalga Khatinoglu

Latest official reports indicate that Iran consumed 148.5 billon cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas during last 10.5 months in housing, industrial and power plants sectors, indicates a 15 bcm increase year-to-year.

The figure for ten months of the current fiscal year was about 138 bcm.

Iran's fiscal year starts on March 21, based on solar calendar, contemporary with the beginning of spring.

Naser Ebrahimi, Director of Gas Distribution Department of National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) told IRNA that the country's gas consumption (excluding the re-ejected gas to oil fields, flaring, etc) reached 148.406 bcm during the 322 days of the current fiscal year (10.5 months).

He announced earlier on Jan.23 that the country's gas consumption stood above 138 bcm during last ten months (306 days), without mentioning an exact volume.

Therefore, Iran's gas usage during the 16 days (322 days minus 306 days) 10 to 10.5 bcm, or around 625 to 656 mcm/d.

Gas consumption

10 month (mcm/d)

10 months of last year(mcm/d)

10.5 months

(mcm/d)

10.5 months of last year (mcm/d)

Housing sector

221

215

231

226

Industry sector

90

85

88.5

80.7

Power plants

142

106.3

140.9

103

Total

453

406.3

460.4

409.7

Iran's gas consumption triples in the winter months, compared to warmer months. For instance the National Iranian Gas Company spokesman Majid Bujarzadeh told Jan.14 that the gas usage level reached 602 mcm/d, including 413 mcm/d of gas delivery to the housing sector, almost two times more than the average volume in 10 months.

According to the latest statistics, Iran is producing 666 mcm/d of raw gas, imports 15 to 38.5 mcm/d of gas from Turkmenistan, exports 30 mcm/d to Turkey and re-extract 19.8 mcm/d from gas storage facilities.

Therefore, Iran's net raw gas supplement ability is likely about 675 mcm/d to 695 mcm/d.

With regarding the gas consumption level during last 15 days and shrinking the volume during converting the raw gas to sweet gas, Iran practically has not any considerable surplus gas to re-inject oil fields currently.

The average raw gas production during the 2014 was 637 mcm/d, indicates a 90-mcm/d increase year-to-year, mostly since summer.

During last winter Iran faced a 160 mcm/d of gas shortage, led to stop gas supplement to petrochemical plants, power plants and industrial units. During the current year, Iran increased the production level significantly, but not at a level that can stop the gas shortage totally. The figures shows that Iran has decreased delivering gas to power plants and industrial sector since fall, compared to the warm months.

Iran needs to re-inject 290 mcm/d of gas to its oil fields to decelerate the pace of natural production decline, which lose 8 to 13 percent of their production capacity each year. Reportedly Iran re-injected 77 to 90 mcm/d of enriched gas to old oil fields during last year. These fields share above 80 percent of the country's total oil production.

Edited by CN

Dalga Khatinoglu is an expert on Iran's energy sector, head of Trend Agency's Iran news service.

Follow him on @dalgakhatinoglu

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