Plans to Enhance Crude Quality

Plans to Enhance Crude Quality Plans to Enhance Crude Quality

Plans have been made to improve the quality of Iranian oil sold to its traditional customers, especially in Europe, the head of Oil and Gas Production Supervision Department at the National Iranian Oil Company said on Thursday.

"Enhancing the quality of crude tops NIOC's priority list," Seifollah Jashnsaz was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.

Referring to Iran's new production ceiling in post-sanctions era, he said, "We will not be able to attract new customers unless our quality standards surpass that of our competitors'."

According to the official, European Union member states have shown interest in purchasing Iran's oil on condition that its standards meet their strict quality control standards.

Underscoring the effort made by Iran's competitors to produce premium quality crude in recent years, Jashnsaz noted that NIOC's managing director has called for a plan to improve and integrate the standard quality of different kinds of crude produced in Iran's oilfields before it is sent to refineries for further processing.

"Due to the obsolescence of processing units in most refineries, there will be no way to meet international quality standards unless refineries are supplied with top quality crude," he said.

"All refineries will be equipped with effective and modern systems to process different types of crude."

Jashnsaz said Imam Khomeini Oil Refining Company of Shazand in Arak, Markazi Province, is the only refiner whose facilities use state-of-the-art technology, which explains why its processed oil has got a better market.

With the aim of enhancing crude quality, several oil desalting projects are under construction with a total processing capacity 485,000 bpd, including Gachsaran 3 and Bibi Hakimeh in Kohgilouyeh-Boyerahmad Province with 110,000 bpd and 55,000 bpd processing capacities respectively.

According to oil officials, Ahvaz desalting facility, to become operational by March 2016 in the southern Khuzestan Province, will increase the quality of oil output in Karun.

The purpose of desalting is to remove impurities, especially salts and water, from crude oil prior to distillation.

Iran plans to produce 3.8 million to 3.9 million barrels of oil a day by March, with output rising by 500,000 barrels a day soon after [the imposed] sanctions are lifted and by 1 million barrels within the following five months.