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Iran to Celebrate Self-Sufficiency in Gasoline Production

Service : Economy
TEHRAN, June 22 (ICANA) – Iranian oil officials announced that the country will celebrate self-sufficiency in premium gasoline production in early July.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011 9:03:18 PM
Iran to Celebrate Self-Sufficiency in Gasoline Production

"The country will achieve self-sufficiency in premium gasoline production after launching the gasoline production unit of the second phase of Imam Khomeini Oil Refinery's development project in Shazand (in the central province of Markazi) in early July," the General Manager of the National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company Alireza Zeiqami said.

"By opening the project, the daily gasoline production in the refinery will reach seven million liters," he said, adding the current capacity of the refinery is 4.5 million liters on daily basis.

"The project is one of the important projects of the country and is implemented by spending some 3.5 billion US dollars," Zeiqami continued.

In May, Iran said that it postponed producing premium gasoline in Abadan Refinery after an explosion occurred in the inauguration ceremony of the new project.

The world's fifth-biggest crude oil exporter for 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.

Also earlier in April, Iran's former Oil Minister Massoud Mir-Kazzemi 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.

Mir-Kazzemi 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-Kazzemi said, and 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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