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Iran Starts Earning Revenue through Gasoline Exports

Service : Economy
TEHRAN, May 18 (ICANA) – Iran started slow, but continued export of gasoline after it exported a batch of domestically produced gasoline in April to make good on its pledge of becoming a gasoline exporter.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011 7:35:25 PM
Iran Starts Earning Revenue through Gasoline Exports

"In Farvardin (the Iranian month that ends on April 20) 6.1 thousand metric tons of gasoline were exported to other countries," Head of Iran's Customs Administration Abbas Memarnejad announced.

He said the total value of the consignments in the period exceeded $5 million and formed 23 percent of Iran's total exports.

Memarnejad did not name the destination the gasoline went to. However, last month foreign trade sources said Iran had struck a deal to sell gasoline to Iraq.

Iran launched an Oil Exchange earlier this month and put on sale a consignment of gasoline for export to show a newly found self-sufficiency in the fuel.

The world's fifth-biggest crude oil exporter has long depended on imported gasoline for 30 to 40 percent of its consumption, but now has become a net exporter.

In April, the National Iranian Oil Engineering and Construction Company (NIOEC) announced that Iran is set to increase its gasoline output by more than four times, from the current 42 million liters (11.09 million gallons) per day to 186 million liters (49.1 million gallons) per day in a five-year period.

Earlier this month, Iran's Oil Minister Massoud Mir-Kazemi announced that the country plans to boost its daily gasoline output by 22 million liters this year.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a ceremony to inaugurate the first phase of the development plan of Lavan oil refinery in the Persian Gulf, the minister also said that Iran plans to improve the quality of its gasoline production in order to get Euro-4 and Euro-5 standards in the near future.

Also in May, a senior Iranian oil official announced that the country plans to export its gasoline production surplus to the neighboring countries, including Iraq, Armenia and Afghanistan.

"We have exported some gasoline supplies to Afghanistan this (Iranian) year (started on March 21) and held some negotiations with Armenia and Iraq over the export of oil products (including gasoline) to these countries," Iran's Deputy Oil Minister Alireza Zeiqami said.

He mentioned that Iran exported a daily volume of 400,000 to 500,000 liters of diesel oil to Iraq in the last Iranian year (ended March 20), and in some days this volume reached 1,000,000 liters.

Zeiqami also pointed out that Iran has been in talks with Armenia during the last Iranian year over a daily supply of 1500,000 liters of gasoline and diesel oil to the country.

Mir-Kazemi had announced in February that the country is prepared to export gasoline to the neighboring countries due to the excessive production of Iranian oil refineries.

Iran is by now ready to export gasoline to the neighboring countries, Mir-Kazemi said on the sidelines of the inauguration ceremony of the second phase of Imam Khomeini Oil Refinery's development project in Shazand located in the Central Iranian province of Markazi.

He also reiterated that Iran is now self-sufficient in gasoline production.

Iran increased its gasoline production after the United States and the European Union started approving their own unilateral sanctions against the Islamic Republic over its nuclear program, mostly targeting the country's energy and banking sectors, including a US boycott of gasoline supplies to Iran.

After the UN Security Council ratified a sanctions resolution against Iran on June 9, the US Senate passed a legislation to expand sanctions on foreign companies that invest in Iran's energy sector and those foreign companies that sell refined petroleum to Iran or help develop its refining capacity.

The bill, which later received the approval of the House of Representatives, said companies that continue to sell gasoline and other refined oil products to Iran would be banned from receiving Energy Department contracts to deliver crude to the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The bill was then signed into law by US President Barack Obama.

But Iran's self-sufficiency in gasoline production made Washington's plots fall flat. Iran boosted gasoline production so much that in September 2010, the country exported its first gasoline consignment to the foreign markets.

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