Iran has invested the equivalent of $1.35 billion in its natural gas sector in the two years to July this year, according to CEO of the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC).
Majid Chegeni said on Monday that Iran had spent some 680 trillion rials to expand its natural gas sector since August 2021 when the current administrative government took office.
Chegeni said a bulk of the investment, around 386 trillion rials, had been earmarked to projects aimed at expanding the Iranian national gas grid to cities and towns in far regions of the country.
He said that the spending had enabled Iran to supply natural gas through pipelines to more than 400,000 households in nearly 5,300 villages and 41 cities across the country.
The official, who also serves as a deputy Iranian oil minister, said natural gas is now available to 98.6% of the urban population and 86.3% of the rural population in Iran.
Chegeni said Iran plans to spend nearly 700 trillion rials on its gas sector expansion projects in the calendar year to late March, including some 345 trillion rials on the expansion of gas network to the remaining towns and villages in the country.
The NIGC chief said that domestic consumption of natural gas in Iran reached a total of 230 billion cubic meters in the year to March 2023, adding that power plants were responsible for 32% of the usage over the period, followed by industries at 31% and households at 27%.
He said that gas exports from Iran increased by 16% over the past calendar year compared to the year before, adding that the country had also increased its international sales of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) by 22% or more than 1 million metric tons over the period.