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Iran facing shortages of natural gas

28 April 2015 9:59


Iranian officials have issued fresh warnings over the rising consumption of natural gas in the country.

The National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) said on Monday that Iran will not have enough gas to provide the houses in the near future if no measure is taken to contain the current pace of “wasteful consumption” of the crucial fuel.

“Energy consumption in Iran is three times more than the international standards,” said Abdolhossein Samari, the deputy NIGC director for operations affairs.

“If it is not reduced to match the international standards, the country’s gas production in the near future will not be enough even to satisfy the demands of the residential and commercial units,” IRNA has quoted him as saying.

Samari said Iran’s current annual gas consumption stands at 163 billion cubic meters (bcm), which he said is the third highest in the world. Other figures show the country gas production stands at 160 bcm – literally meaning that consumption has already taken over production. Iran makes minimal imports from Turkmenistan to fill the remaining gap.

Samari added that Iran’s production of gas will reach about 1 bcm per day in 2017 if all the remaining phases of South Pars energy hub – that provides the bulk of the country’s supplies – are brought on stream.

He said natural gas has a share of 70 percent in Iran’s energy basket, stressing that the viewpoint in the country toward gas as a cheap and abundant fuel needs to be changed to a nonrenewable source of energy that is crucial to support Iran’s development.

Iran’s proven reserves of natural gas stand at 33.6 trillion cubic meters (about 18% of global reserves), making the country one of the top two countries together with Russia with regard to conventional gas reserves.

Iran is the leading producer of natural gas in the Middle East and third in the world after the United States and Russia. However, many analysts believe that the country has not been able to fully exploit the potentials in the gas sector due to a series of factors the most important of which include the US-engineered sanctions, mismanagement and wasteful domestic energy consumption.

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