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Iran Official Says National Gas Company Bankrupt

The chief executive officer at state-owned National Iranian Gas Co (NIGC) Hamid Reza Araghi has said the company has declared bankruptcy. on November 20 cited Araghi's comments over the weekend, as reported by Iranian news agency Mehr.

Araghi said NIGC is more than $4 billion in debt.

Media reports also cited Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh as saying the gas company "is destroyed."

The Energy Ministry quoted Araghi as saying that Iran's inability to extract more gas has led to a greater dependency on burning oil products.

Araghi warned of severe gas shortages during the next two years.

Araghi did not explain the reasons why Iran, with the second largest gas reserves in the world, is unable to produce more gas, but "The Wall Street Journal" noted international sanctions on Iran "have devastated the country's critical energy industry."

With reporting by Reuters