Iran Taking Firm Measure to End Gasoline Imports

Iran is largely banking on two major refinery complexes in south Iran to end dependence on imported gasoline
Iran Taking Firm Measure to End Gasoline ImportsIran Taking Firm Measure to End Gasoline Imports

A top oil official on Tuesday said the government plans to exclude a bill for gasoline imports from the national budget for the next fiscal (2017-18) in what would end years of reliance on imports for the fuel.

"We have no plan to propose a bill as part of next year's budget law to authorize gasoline imports," Abbas Kazemi, deputy oil minister and the chief executive of the National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company said on Tuesday, Mehr News Agency reported.

The government is largely banking on two major refinery complexes in south Iran to end dependence on imported gasoline.

Persian Gulf Star Refinery, the Middle East's largest refinery project in the port city of Bandar Abbas, will produce 12 million liters per day of premium grade gasoline once its first development phase is completed by the middle of next year. According to reports, the refinery will  produce 35 million liters per day.

"We won't need to import gasoline next year because the first phase of the Persian Gulf Star Refinery will come on stream" by May 2017, Kazemi noted.

The facility will process condensates, a light blend of oil found in natural-gas deposits in the South Pars Gas Field, the world's largest gas reservoirs located on the territorial border between Iran and Qatar in the Persian Gulf.

The refinery's launch has been delayed several times due to international sanctions that largely shut out Iran from the global financial and banking system and divested its energy sector of much-needed investment for several years.

Plans also call for raising Euro-4 gasoline output at Lavan Refinery in Hormozgan Province from 2.1 million liters per day to 3 ml/d in six months.

The complex has the capacity to process up to 60,000 barrels of crude oil per day and receives all of its input from four small and medium-size offshore fields in the Persian Gulf.

Domestic refineries on average produced 58.5 ml/d of gasoline in the first half of the current fiscal year (Mar.-Sept.) as imports averaged 12 ml/d, but imports are now down to 4-4.5 million liters a day, Kazemi said.

Data shows that Iran imported 9 ml/d of gasoline to meet its 70 ml/d demand last year. The country almost imported twice as much gasoline last year compared to 2013.

Officials are positive that Iran will become a gasoline exporter next year. The country also exports 600,000 tons of diesel, 140,000 tons of liquefied gas (including LPG and LNG) as well as 2 million tons of mazut per month.

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