January 3, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- Iranian authorities say the country has stopped supplying natural gas to neighboring Turkey in order to meet growing demand at home this winter, Radio Farda reports.
Iranian Oil Minister Kazem Vaziri Hamaneh said he had apologized to Turkey's energy minister but added that he hoped the opening of a major gas refinery in Iran's southern Fars Province by the end of this week would help solve the problem.
Eleven of Iran's provinces are currently facing gas shortages, including some of the coldest areas like Kurdistan, Zanjan, and East and West Azerbaijan, according to Radio Farda.
The state-run gas company, National Iranian Gas Company, warned of the shortages there, and added that a "nationwide" cut in supplies could follow.
The company urged consumers to conserve fuel.
Deputy Oil Minister Hasan Kasai told ILNA on January 1 that gas consumption has risen by 45 percent year-on-year.
... Payvand News - 1/3/07 ... --