Fresh Warning Against Alarming Gas Use

Fresh Warning Against Alarming Gas UseFresh Warning Against Alarming Gas Use

Iran could become a major importer of natural gas in the near future if the excessive and unacceptably high gas consumption is not curbed drastically, managing director of the Iranian Fuel Conservation Company (IFCO) said, IRNA reported Monday.

"Energy consumption in Iran is three times higher than the global average," Nasrollah Seifi warned. "With a population of 80 million people, Iran's consumption rates in some energy sectors equal those of China with 1.3 billion people."

He said consumption of gas and other energy resources is so high that the world's biggest natural gas reservoir, South Pars, will fall short of meeting domestic demand, prompting the country “to start gas imports within two decades.” Per capita gas consumption in Iran (1,700 cubic meters) is almost three times over and above the world average (600 cubic meters).

Echoing the warnings by senior officials in recent years, Seif recalled that inefficient industries along with transport and agriculture sectors are major consumers of energy. He appealed for new and binding rules and regulations to streamline consumption and encourage conservation in the three key sectors.

As part of measures to curb energy consumption, the oil and interior ministries signed a memorandum of understanding last year to encourage reduce overall fuel consumption by 50 percent. The official said the introduction of the subsidy reform plan five years ago and gradual increase in prices of energy carriers also helped curb consumption. Iran began slashing three-decades-old subsidies on sensitive energy and food items in 2010, replacing them with cash payments.

Iran ranks third in the world in terms of gas consumption, according to Seif. It holds the world’s second biggest natural gas reserves after Russia, and the fourth-largest proven crude oil reserves.  The country holds around 17 percent of the world's proven gas reserves and more than one-third of OPEC reserves.