Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct.14/ Trend, F. Karimov/
The flow of natural gas to 16 power plants in Iran has been disrupted as consumption by the household sector has surged in autumn, the Mehr News Agency reported.
The average consumption of natural gas by Iranian households rose by 35-40 million cubic meters per day in some of the provinces. This issue has cut the supply of gas to 16 power plants nationwide.
Gas consumption by the household sector has reached 185 million cubic meters per day, showing a 10 percent rise year on year.
Currently, power plants in Iran need 155-160 million cubic meters of gas per day.
Earlier this month, the Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said that even if Iran imports 40 million cubic meters of gas daily from Turkmenistan, the country would still face a 30 billion cubic meters gas shortage this winter.
"Iran also needs to use up to eight million cubic meters of gas per day from the Sarajeh and Shourijeh gas storage facilities in the cold months," the Mehr News Agency quoted Zanganeh as saying.
"The country's domestic consumption has increased in the past four year, while no phase of the South Pars gas field has come on the stream in the period," he said.
"This year some $17-18 billion worth of liquid fuel is being consumed in the power plants which is catastrophic," he added.
"If the country's gas production had increased, Iran could have saved the aforementioned amount of money by feeding gas to the power plants," Zanganeh explained.
He went on to say that once phases 12, 15 and 18 of the South Pars gas field come on stream, some 170-180 million cubic meters of sweet gas and 280,000 barrels of gas condensates would be added to the country's production capacity. However, the oil minister said he believes the mentioned capacity would not be achieved in the next two years.
"The oil ministry's priority in developing the South Pars gas field's phases are the old ones," Zanganeh said.