Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 29
By Farhad Daneshvar – Trend:
The inauguration of several phases of the South Pars gas field as well as the maintenance of major gas pipelines appear to be among the main factors that have helped Iran to endure the freezing cold without any gas outage this winter.
Heavy snowfall blanketed much of Iran over the past few days, closing hundreds of schools and many airports across the country with cars trapped on major highways.
The adverse weather condition, which began late Saturday, touched more than 20 provinces and two-thirds of the population, delivering its heaviest punch to the north where it dumped some 80 centimeters of snow in the altitudes.
Unlike previous years, when the northern provinces of the country suffered from natural gas outages in the bitterly cold, this winter the country seems immune against a potential gas supply disruption thanks to the construction and maintenance of new pipelines and the new phases of the South Pars gas field.
Iran’s daily gas consumption is likely to grow 6.8 percent over the coming couple of days due to heavy snowfall and cold across the country. The official estimations suggest that the figure would hit 550 million cubic meters per day, 35 million cubic meters more compared to the consumption in the first three quarters of the current fiscal year (started March 20, 2017).
Majid Boujarzadeh, the spokesperson of the National Gas Company, has ruled out the possibilities of any gas outage, saying the gas consumption on Sunday reached 500 million cubic meters.
The official further added that the company faced no shortcomings in supply of gas to industrial units and power plants.
The country supplies 106 million cubic meters of gas to power plants and 100 million cubic meters to industrial units on a daily basis.
Iran launched a 170-kilometer gas pipeline, stretching from the city of Damghan in Semnan Province to Neka in Mazandaran Province last August, resolving the technical obstacles to supply of gas to northern regions after its row with Turkmenistan over gas prices.
On the other hand, the inauguration of South Pars phases 17, 18, 19 as well as 21 and 22 caused the giant gas field to hit a production capacity of 570 million cubic meters per day.
This is while the utilization of a 270-kilometer segment of the sixth cross country gas pipeline, stretching from Naftshahr to Sannadaj in the western province of Kordestan, had a key role in the non-stop supply of gas in peak hours.
Farhad Daneshvar is the head of Iran Desk at Trend Agency, follow him on Twitter: @Farhad_Danesh