Gasoline Imports Halved

Gasoline  Imports Halved
Gasoline  Imports Halved

Gasoline imports dropped from an average 10 million liters per day (ml/d) last year to only 4.5 ml/d in the current Iranian year (ending March 20), indicating a 55 percent decrease, managing director of the National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company (NIORDC) said.

Due to a reduction in gasoline imports, along with the government's plan to increase domestic production of the fuel, it is projected that gasoline production will reach 70 ml/d next year, Abbas Kazemi was quoted by Moj news agency as saying.

Special measures were taken last year to eliminate benzene, aromatics, and sulfur from gasoline. Currently the gasoline distributed in Tehran, Karaj, Tabriz, Isfahan, and Mashhad conforms to Euro-4 Standards, which has significantly reduced air pollution in the aforementioned cities, government officials say.

In line with the policy to gradually stop use and distribution of liquefied fuel, and liberate the prices of kerosene, mazut, and diesel fuel, nearly 15 to 20 billion liters of liquefied fuel can be exported next year.

Despite the reduction in imports, gasoline consumption rose in the March-September period and even reached three-digit figures in the summer, but then plummeted to 65 ml/d. An average of 70 ml/d of gasoline and 18 million cubic meters per day of compressed natural gas (CNG) has been distributed over the first nine months.

Iran is to reach self-sufficiency in gasoline production and start export of petroleum products upon completion of the Persian Gulf Star Refinery in the port city of Bandar Abbas city in less than two years.

According to official estimates, Iran will need to import 5-6 million liters of gasoline per day until the Persian Gulf Star Refinery comes on stream. The country was set to become self-reliant in gasoline production and start exports by the summer, but things have not gone according to plan due to a delay in construction of several refineries.

The NIORDC is urged to start the supply of Euro-4 gasoline to eight major cities next year, but for now the import of gasoline appears to be a more viable option.

Increasing demand for gasoline should expedite completion of the first phase of the Persian Gulf Star refinery and an increase in gasoline production capacity in other refineries, accompanied by a cut in production of heavier fuels.