London, June 15, IRNA-Iran last year became the world's fifth largest gas consumer, behind the US, Russia, the UK and Canada, overtaking Germany for the first time.
According to BP's latest annual Statistical Review, Iran's domestic gas consumption was recorded to have risen by 5.1 percent to 78.4 million tons oil equivalent (mtoes) in 2004.
During the year, gas production reached 77 mtoes, up by 4.9 percent on 2003. It was augmented by the import of 5.2 tcms from Turkmenistan, but offset with the export of 3.56 tcms to Turkey.
Iran's oil gas consumption in line with growing production has more than doubled in the past decade and in 2002, it became the highest in Asia after overtaking Japan. In 1997, it overtook that of Saudi Arabia's to become the highest in the Middle East.
BP's review for 2004 showed that gas consumption in Iran also increased its lead over oil production to 5.1 mtoes, up from 4.9 mtoes in 2003 and from 2.4 mtoes in 2001, when gas first became the country's primary source of energy.
This was achieved despite a 5.1 percent rise in oil consumption from 69.7 mtoes in 2003 to 73.3 mtoes last year, the 15th highest in the world and the second largest in the Middle East after Saudi Arabia.
Overall, the report found that Iran's ever-growing energy consumption was slightly outpaced in 2004 year by increased production of oil and gas.
It also showed a 24.5 percent rise in the generation and consumption of hydroelectricity to 2.7 million tons oil equivalent (mtoes), an increase of 2.5 percent in refinery capacity to 1.6 million barrels per day (bpd) and coal contributing 1.1 mtoes.
The biggest production increase was in oil, up by 4.7 mtoes to 202.6 mtoes, an equivalent to over 4 m bpd for the first time since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Worldwide, the review found a rapid growth in demand for all forms of energy that dominated energy markets and which was attributed as leading to record rise in prices.
"Overall energy consumption grew by 4.3 percent in 2004. In volume terms, this is the largest-ever annual increase in global primary energy consumption and is the highest percentage growth since 1984," BP's chief economist Peter Davis said.
The increase was seen as particularly strong in China, up by 15.1 percent, far higher that its 9.5 percent economic growth.
Chinese energy demand was calculated to have risen by 65 percent over the past three years, more than half of the global increase.
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