Iran’s western provinces face gas shortage

Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 20

By Rahim Zamanov - Trend:

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

The National Iranian Gas Company blames technical issues for the gas shortage.

Consequently, the company has stopped supplying gas to some industrial units.

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

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 gas oil or kerosene.

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

Iranian deputy oil minister Hamidreza Araqi urged households to conserve natural gas.

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

Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said on Nov. 29 that the coming winter will be the hardest one in the country's history in terms of a 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 Dec. 14 that some 422 million cubic meters of gas was consumed in Iran on Dec. 13, which was a new record high for the 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 the country's total consumption, he explained.

The managing director of National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company (NIOPDC), Mostafa Kashkouli, said on Dec. 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 a 9 to 10 percent increase compared to the same period of time last year.

An increasing demand from households has caused gas shortages 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 last 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.

Edited by C.N.

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