EghtesadOnline: In the past 75 days, people in Iran have consumed more than one billion cubic meters more gas than the same period last year, the head of dispatching operations at the National Iranian Gas Company said.
“For the last 12 days, gas consumption has been between 580 million cubic meters and 600 mcm of gas have been consumed on a daily basis in the domestic and commercial sectors,” Mohammad Reza Joulaei was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.
Calling it a new record, he said that such high consumption in about two weeks is unprecedented in the country.
“Although we have done our best so that there would be no pressure drop in the said period and in different regions, if this trend continues, it will put a lot of pressure on the gas grid,” the official added.
According to Joulaei, northern and northwestern provinces have had the highest amount of consumption, especially East Azarbaijan, West Azarbaijan and Ardabil, due to the drop in temperature and freezing weather.
Iran offers natural gas to households and businesses at highly subsidized rates, which experts blame for the illogically high level of gas consumption in the country.
Rising usage over the past winter forced NIGC to cut gas supplies to power plants across Iran, causing brief but recurrent power cuts in large cities across the country.
NIGC has the capacity to pump nearly 1 billion cubic meters of gas per day to the national network, which is used by households and commercial centers as well as various industries such as cement and petrochemicals and power plants. The government has devised plans to ensure power plants in Iran have access to adequate supplies of fuel oil over the winter to prevent any electricity outage in the country.