EghtesadOnline: An estimated 880 million cubic meters of gas will be injected into the Iran Gas Trunkline (IGAT) per day in winter (Dec 21, 2020 and March 20, 2021) to meet projected rise in winter demand, head of the National Iranian Gas Company Dispatching Department said.
“Of the total (880 mcm/d), 650 mcm/d is expected to be used in the household sector up 30% compared to the present 500 mcm/d,” Mohammadreza Joulaee was quoted as saying by IRNA.
The weatherman has forecast a cold winter this year because of which gas delivery to power stations will be cut to 50 mcm/d (as last year) unless families rethink their high consumption patterns.
As one example he noted that average daily natural gas consumption in Tehran Province alone (80 million cubic meters) is the equivalent of the production of three phases of the giant South Pars Gas Field in the Persian Gulf.
Referring to other sectors, the official said that petrochemical companies and industries will receive 110 mcm a day.
NIGC remains committed to its export contracts and 70 mcm of gas will be sold to Iraq and Turkey per day in winter, Joulaee added.
Total gas production has reached 880 mcm/d of which 650 mcm/d comes from South Pars and the rest is produced by the Iranian Central Oil Fields Company that has three subsidiaries, namely West Oil and Gas Production Company, East Oil and Gas Production Company and South Zagros Oil and Gas Production Company.
According to the NIGC official, the Covid-19 pandemic has raised natural gas consumption of households by 30 mcm/d in the past six months compared to a year ago.
“Close to 500 mcm of gas is used by this sector daily, which at the least is 30 mcm/d more than in 2019.”
Due to the outbreak of the deadly respiratory disease and the need to comply with hygiene protocols, families wash their hands and appliances frequently and prefer warm water that is why water heating systems, almost all of which use gas, are being used more than in the recent past, he recalled.
Although most power stations in Iran use gas, close to 23 million liters of liquefied fuel, namely diesel and mazut, are also used in some thermal plants (per day) that have limited access to gas including Bandar Abbas in Hormozgan Province and Tabriz in East Azarbaijan Province and Arak in Markazi Province.
“How much gas will be supplied to thermal power units this winter will depend largely on household consumption and if home use rises obviously less gas will be delivered to power stations.”
Close to 92% of Iran’s electricity (58,000 MW) is produced by 123 power stations, most of which use natural gas.
Supplying gas to power plants, instead of diesel and mazut, not only curbs air pollution but also helps increase revenue from exports.
NIGC has managed to raise gas production, especially in the South Pars Gas Field, to meet demand from power plants. However, household use was so high last winter that gas delivery to power plants had to be cut by half.
Iran is burning record amounts of natural gas, which is way higher than the global average. While average global gas consumption has risen by 1.65% in three decades, demand of the fuel in Iran has shot up by 4.2% in the same period.
IGAT is a series of nine large diameter pipelines built to supply gas from refineries in the south (Khuzestan and Bushehr provinces) across the country.
SP has 24 phases all of which (except Phase 11) are now operational. The field, which Iran shares with Qatar, covers 9,700 square kilometers, 3,700 square kilometers of which (South Pars) are in Iran’s territorial waters and the rest owned by Qatar.