Samari said that natural gas consumption has been growing by 10 percent annually over the past 10 years.
He said daily gas production is expected to rise to 330 million cubic meters a day this year from 290 million cubic meters last year.
He added that five refineries are to be established in Iran to meet 80 percent of the country's natural gas requirements.
The official said Farsian gas refinery is scheduled to go on stream this year and will operate with 20 million cubic meters capacity.
He said studies are underway on a project for establishment of a refinery in the western city of Ilam.
Furthermore, said Samari, the first phase of South Pars refinery is going to be operational this year and five more phases at the refinery are going to be complete on a buy-back basis by National Iranian Oil Company.
He said project for development of the second and third phases of South Pars gas refinery would be operational with a credit of less than two billion dollars and Farsian and Ilam refineries are also going to cost less than 400 million dollars this year.
Daily Turkmenistan Ro reports in its website on Wednesday that Iran is to purchase about 6.5 billion cubic meters of gas from Turkmenistan this year.
... Payvand News - 7/10/03 ... --