Gas use at issue in Iran as oil production sags

Future use of natural gas has become a political issue in Iran, whose status as a major oil exporter may be at stake.In the past decade, the country has encouraged domestic consumption of gas to keep oil available for export.Now, however, plans to export gas as LNG are under attack by opponents who say the gas should stay in Iran for domestic uses that include injection to sustain flagging oil production.And domestic demand, stimulated by prices capped by the government at 1¢/cu m, is skyrocketing, notes Fereidun Fesharaki, president of FACTS Inc., Honolulu, who says raising the price would “create a major social and political upheaval.”Fesharaki outlined Iran’s gas...

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