“This volume, which equals 5 million barrels of crude oil, is distributed inside the country,” the Oil Ministry news agency Shana quoted Mehdi Jamshidi Dana as saying.
Iran has one of the largest gas networks in the world,” Jamshidi Dana noted.
The country has more than 39,000 kilometers of high-pressure pipelines, 82 gas pressure-boosting stations, 296 turbo compressors and other major installations in the gas sector, he said.
“Regarding gas infrastructure, Iran ranks first in Asia and fourth in the world,” the official said.
South Pars Gas Complex in the Persian Gulf, which produces the majority of gas, produced 179 billion cubic meters in 2017.
Of this volume 65 bcm was sold to power plants. There are 84 big power stations and all except two are connected to the national grid.
Key industries like cement and steel purchased 45 bcm of gas in 2017.
According to the NIGC boss, 98% of the country’s urban population will have access to natural gas by the end of the currency fiscal year (March 2020).
“So far, 21 provinces (of the total 31) have gas supply lines to all their urban and rural areas. We call them ‘green provinces’. Three more provinces will join the list before the calendar year is out in March,” Hassan Montazer Torbati was quoted as saying by Shana.
Regarding gas supply to rural areas, he said: “More than 77% of the rural population has access to the national gas distribution network.”
More than 3,000 villages have been connected to the gas grid since the begging of the current fiscal.
According to NIGC data, over 1,100 cities, 24,000 towns and 27,000 villages are linked to the rapidly expanding gas grid.
“By the end of the year, gas supply to 3,000 villages will be complete and 84% of rural regions will be connected to the grid,” he added.
The move is in line with the government's goal of linking all urban areas and 90% of the suburban population to the gas network by 2022.