Managing-Director of the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) Javad Oji announced that the country’s daily gas transfer capacity has exceeded 700 million cubic meters (mcm). “The country’s gas transfer capacity has increased to 730 million cubic meters per day and the capacity for refining natural gas has reached around 540 mcm per day,” Oji said. He said that more than 54,000 industrial units and nearly 70 power plants are connected to the country’s gas transfer network, adding that the Iranian industries consume about 70 billion cubic meters of gas every year on an average basis. Oji said that the NIGC is also working to increase gas storage reservoirs as part of its plan for boosting Iran\'s gas production and transfer capacities. “Fortunately, the development of the gas industry in the downstream and upstream sectors has not come to a halt despite the existing limitations,” the official said, reiterating that Iran presently has one of the biggest natural gas transfer and refinery networks in the Middle East and the world despite sanctions. Earlier this year, NIGC Dispatch Manager Hassan Montazer Torbati said that Iran’s total gas production would reach 190 billion cubic meters this year (ends on March 20, 2014) after the new phases of the South Pars gas field come on stream, 10 billion cubic meters above the figures of the last year. “Last year, household and commercial sectors, power plants and industries consumed respectively 84, 39 and 30 billion cubic meters of gas,” Torbati said. He added that while last year main industries’ gas consumption remained unchanged in comparison to a year earlier, power plants\' consumption rose by 2 bcm or 4 percent. \"Last year the country exported 9.3 bcm of gas and imported 4.5 bcm of gas which was the result of management of consumption,\" Torbati noted.