Gas consumption in Iran has hit a new record, prompting the oil minister to urge people to wear warm clothes and turn off heating when leaving home and work.
Iran's oil minister Javad Owji said on Sunday that with people’s cooperation gas consumption can be managed, urging people to reduce usage so that “we can pass the next 10 days without any problem."
Owji said that the gas consumption at homes, commercial and small industries was at 692 million cubic meters in the past 24 hours.
Moreover, the head of distribution at Iran’s National Gas Company, Mohammadreza Joulaei, said that cold weather in the coming days will increase consumption by a few million cubic meters per day as people turn up their heaters.
Joulaei said, “There are 28 million gas subscribers in the country,” warning that power plants and industries such as petrochemicals and steel would face supply cuts to provide gas to households.
With a cold spell gripping Iran in recent days and a surge in demand, shortages of natural gas have become acute and power stations are burning more dirty fuels, feeding air pollution.
Iran has the second largest reserves of natural gas in the world but is barely able to satisfy domestic demand as production steadily declines because of lack of investments in the oil and gas sector.