Gas Consumption to Outpace Output

Gas Consumption to Outpace OutputGas Consumption to Outpace Output

Gas consumption in the residential sector this week is poised to exceed 470 million cubic meters a day from 390 mcm/d at present, as Iran braces for a new wave of cold weather, National Iranian Gas Company's director for dispatching said.

It will mean gas consumption among Iranian households alone will surpass the country's daily output of around 420 mcm/d, Shana reported.

Manouchehr Taheri added that the storage of 1.08 billion cubic meters of gas in the pipelines besides massive stockpiles in Shourijeh and Sarajeh, the country's two largest gas storage facilities, will minimize the risks of gas shortage in the cold season.

"There is no impediment to gas delivery to households, in view of the steady supply of natural gas to refineries," he said.

Energy consumption in Iran is above global average. According to the Paris-based International Energy Agency, Iran is the fourth biggest consumer of natural gas after the US, Russia and China, three of the world's leading economies with larger population.

The Persian Gulf country is also the world's fourth largest producer of natural gas. It produced 173 bcm of gas in 2014, the most after the US, Russia and neighboring Qatar.

Iran exports natural gas via pipelines to three neighboring countries, namely Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan.

The US Energy Information Association also has rated Iran as the second-largest oil-consuming country in the Middle East, second to Saudi Arabia. It said in a report in June that domestic oil consumption averaged 1.8 million barrels per day in 2014, similar to the previous year.

Some analysts say subsidies on energy prices are one of the reasons for the wasteful consumption of natural gas, among other energy sources, in Iran.

At a major gas summit late last year, President Hassan Rouhani said Iran is planning to become a major player in the global gas market by boosting production capacity to 1 billion cubic meters in two years before raising output to 1.2 bcm/d by 2020.

The Persian Gulf country is fast-tracking the development of South Pars, its biggest gas field that it shares with Qatar. In March 2015, Iran officially launched Phase 12 of South Pars, which is tantamount to three regular phases in terms of scope of operation and output.

Earlier this month, Rouhani said Iran can bring in $100 billion from the world's largest gas field in a ceremony for the inauguration of South Pars' phases 15 and 16 with a gas production capacity of more than 50 mcm/d.

It holds an estimated 34 trillion cubic meters of gas, the biggest natural gas reserves in the world, according to BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2015.

Tehran is also ramping up efforts to curb the alarming trend of energy consumption following the nuclear deal with six world powers in July on its nuclear program.

The Persian Gulf state has engaged in months-long negotiations with internationals to implement new energy management projects.