NIGC: Oil ministry orders supply limit for petrochemical complexes

Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 22

By Rahim Zamanov - Trend:

The National Iranian Gas Company announced on December 21 that it has limited gas supply to petrochemicals with the oil ministry's approval.

The issue is supposed to be discussed at the Majlis (parliament) energy committee in Sunday's session.

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 December 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 complex has been halved," he explained.

He went on to note that in normal situation the petrochemical complexes daily consume 35 - 40 million cubic meters of gas, but the gas shortage in previous months has forced NIGC to limit 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 developing of South Pars gas field as the main reason behind Iran's gas shortage in this year's winter.

The Mehr News Agency reported on December 20 that western provinces of Iran, especially the north-western province of West Azerbaijan, have faced gas shortage and low gas pressure in the past 48 hours.

The NIGC blames technical issues for the gas shortage.
It is while the company has stopped supplying gas to come industrial unit due to the gas shortage.

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 a severely cold weather in a number of provinces, Iran warned people about a possible natural gas supply cut-off in winter due to the harsh cold season on December 3.

Iranian deputy oil minister Hamidreza Araqi urged households to economize the consumption of natural gas.

"Gas supplies to power plants, industrial units, and households will be reduced, if consumption is not limited," he said, the Mehr News Agency reported on December 13.

Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said on November 29 that the coming winter will be the hardest one 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.

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 billion cubic meters of gas to Turkey and imported 4.5 billion cubic meters of gas from Turkmenistan in 2012, according to BP's report.

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