Iran to Raise Domestic Gas Prices


TEHRAN (FNA – Fars News Agency)- Iran plans to hike domestic gas prices in
order to encourage consumers to conserve and to help to free up supplies for
export, officials said on Saturday.

“The decision is to be announced this summer or just after,” said a senior
government official.

He was speaking at the third annual Ravand Institute conference, which
brings together political and economic leaders and experts from Iran and
abroad, and whose proceedings may only be reported under the cloak of
anonymity, AFP reported.

Natural gas sells for only two US cents per cubic meter (35 cubic feet) in
Iran, compared with 30 cents in neighboring countries, and the difference
represents a subsidy of around 40 billion dollars a year, the official said.

The plan will be to raise the price to 15 cents for industrial customers,
the official said, but he did not provide a figure for individual customers.

Ironically, while Iran has the world’s second-largest reserves of natural
gas, the country is a net importer because of a highly inefficient use of it
in industry and profligate use on the part of private consumers.

An official from Iran’s gas sector said the country needed to economize in
order to export, and that it is consuming too much.

A senior government official said the “peak of consumption went above 500
million cubic meters a day last winter but our production did not reach that

In January, Iran announced record production of only 460 million cubic
meters a day.

The country has a 20-year plan aiming to hike production to 1.45 billion
cubic meters a day, with 642 million earmarked for domestic consumption, 259
million for injection in oil production wells and 550 million for export.

IMRA – Independent Media Review and Analysis

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