Private Sector Allowed to Import, Sell Petroleum

Private Sector Allowed to Import, Sell PetroleumPrivate Sector Allowed to Import, Sell Petroleum

Private companies will be authorized to import and sell petroleum products according to the national budget for the next Iranian calendar year (March 2015-2016).

Next year’s budget will allow private firms to import petroleum products with reasonable profit and without subsidy, according to a report by ISNA. Despite the new measure, the oil ministry will continue to control and regulate the market.

Seyyed Mohsen Ghamsari, director of international affairs at the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) said the decision will help boost privatization and reduce government intervention in the economy.

“The NIOC will continue to import petroleum products, and private companies can operate alongside the government,” he said. NIOC is in charge of gasoline and diesel imports in the present year and such permission does not exist in this year’s budget.

Iran was to become self-reliant in gasoline production and even start exports in summer, but things did not go according to plans due to a delay in construction of several refineries.

Increasing demand for gasoline should facilitate completion of the first phase  of the Persian Gulf Star refinery and an increase in gasoline production capacity in the other refineries, while reducing heavier fuel production.