Traders Target $1b in Gasoline Sales to Iran

Traders Target $1b in Gasoline Sales to IranTraders Target $1b in Gasoline Sales to Iran

Iran will need to import about 20% more gasoline to meet demand in the first year after economic sanctions are lifted, creating a market for some $1 billion in fuel sales, according to traders and analysts.

The country with the world’s fifth-largest crude reserves may need to buy about 50,000 barrels a day of gasoline, if sanctions are removed early 2016 as expected, say analysts at consultants Facts Global Energy, IHS Inc. and Energy Aspects Ltd, Bloomberg reported.

With its refineries running at full capacity and unable to raise output for at least another year, Iran now imports 41,000 barrels a day, or about 9% of the gasoline it uses.

Iran was the Persian Gulf region’s biggest gasoline buyer before world powers imposed sanctions over its nuclear program, and it may need to import even more—as much as 70,000 barrels a day, according to two traders in the Middle Eastern market who asked not to be identified. The traders expressed doubts that Iran would open planned new refineries on schedule and said it will depend on imports for at least two to three more years.

Tehran agreed in July to a deal limiting its nuclear program in return for a lifting of sanctions, which have restricted oil companies and traders from doing business with the country.