Iran's Diesel Exports at Record High

Iran's Diesel Exports at Record High Iran's Diesel Exports at Record High

Iran exported more than 13 million liters of diesel per day to international markets in the current Iranian fiscal year that started in March.

"During the past three months, Iran's diesel export witnessed a big increase  compared with 3 million liters in the corresponding period last year," Seyyed Nasser Sajjadi, managing director of National Iranian Oil Products' Distribution Company, told IRNA.

With the completion of more phases of South Pars Gas Field in the Persian Gulf, diesel will be replaced by natural gas as power plant feedstock, resulting in a further drop in domestic diesel consumption.

Commenting on the marked reduction in domestic use, Sajjadi said consumption of the fuel decreased by 13% in the last 3 months compared to the same period last year and reached 68 million liters from 78 million liters per day.

Pointing to the export of 13 million liters of diesel per day since March 20, the official noted that due to the decline in domestic consumption, diesel exports are predicted to exceed 20 million liters per day by next March.

------- A Major Exporter

According to reports, it was not until 2014 that Iran stopped importing diesel. The country bought massive amounts of diesel on the international markets before 2014 to meet rising demand from power plants and the transportation sector.

Nonetheless, as the South Pars Gas Field project gradually went on stream, diesel was replaced with natural gas and the country turned into a key player in exporting diesel fuel to regional markets, namely Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and Armenia.

According to Esmail Hasham Firouz, the head of international affairs at the National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company, the present surplus diesel production capacity stands at 25 million liters per day.

The National Iranian Gas Company recently announced it will raise gas delivery to power plants by 7 billion cubic meters, leading to a decline of 7 billion liters in the consumption of liquid fuels, including diesel and mazut.

Reduction in diesel use in power plants has paved the way for its export. The state-run National Iranian Oil Company says it wants to ramp up diesel export further as more South Pars fields are developed and come into operation.

South Pars is the world's largest gas field, shared between Iran and Qatar, covering an area of 3,700 square kilometers of Iran's territorial waters in the Persian Gulf.

According to Sajjadi, daily mazut consumption plummeted to 13.5 million liters during the last 3 months, from 24.5 million liters per day from the same period last year.

“By exporting 31 million liters of mazut per day, Iran has emerged as a major mazut exporter,” the official said.

According to the Oil Ministry, surplus mazut capacity amounts to 40 million liters per day, which is either sold via bunkering centers in the Persian Gulf or exported to Fujairah Port in the UAE.