EghtesadOnline: The National Iranian Gas Company supplied 1.8 billion cubic meters of natural gas to western Lorestan Province in the last fiscal (ended March 20), the company’s deputy for gas supply said.
"Households accounted for 1.5 bcm of the total consumption," Saeed Momeni said Saturday in a ceremony held to connect 43 small towns in the province to the national grid, ISNA reported.
"Power plants and industries in the province bought 300 million cubic meters of gas in 2018," Financial Tribune quoted him as saying.
Asked about the role and significance of shale discovery in the region, he said, "We are certain that there is a shale gas deposit in Lorestan, about 500 kilometers southwest of Tehran."
The exploration block is located near the Zagros Mountains.
Exploration is underway in four phases. However, it is unclear whether NIGC will tap into its shale formations or not because of higher costs of shale extraction.
Shale oil and gas is extracted through a process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which is costlier than the exploration of conventional reservoirs.
Holding 34 trillion cubic meters of gas, Iran has the largest proven gas reserves in the world, according to BP Statistical Review of World Energy.
Hydrocarbon surveys show that the country's recoverable natural gas reserves have risen by 283 billion cubic meters.
The official added that NIGC sold 198 billion cubic meters of gas in the period, expressing the hope that more villages would be linked to the national network by the fiscal yearend in March 2020.
According to Momeni, about 1,148 cities have been linked to the national gas grid during the past four decades.
"Power plants, which comprise 11% of the country's energy basket, bought 70 bcm of gas," he said.
There are 84 big power stations in the country, two of which (Chabahar and Konarak) in Sistan-Baluchestan Province are not connected to the national gas grid.
Referring to the household sector, the official said it accounted for 52 bcm of the burnt gas in the period. The rest was either exported or delivered to big industries namely steel, cement or petrochemical plants.
"The share of gas in the domestic energy basket has surpassed 70%."
Iraq, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic accounted for 13 mcm, 1.5 mcm, 1.4 mcm and 700,000 cubic meters respectively.