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VP: Self-Sufficiency in Gasoline Production "Blow to Enemies"

Service : Economy
TEHRAN, July 13 (ICANA) – Iranian First Vice-President Mohammad Reza Rahimi on Wednesday lauded Iran's eye-catching progress in the oil sector, especially in gasoline production, irrespective of the embargos and sanctions imposed by the enemies on the country's energy sector.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011 8:01:49 PM
VP: Self-Sufficiency in Gasoline Production "Blow to Enemies"

Addressing the official inauguration ceremony of Kish Oil Bourse in Iran's Persian Gulf Kish Island today, Rahimi underscored that Iran's access to self-sufficiency in gasoline production amid sanctions was "the heaviest blow" which could be hit at the enemies.

Noting the advantages of the implementation of the Targeted Subsidies plan, Rahimi mentioned that the country has become a gasoline exporter after implementing the subsidy reforms plan.

Rahimi also said that the subsidy reforms plan together with the Five-Year Development Plan (2010-2015) will certainly have very positive results for the oil ministry's development projects.

Iran began the long-awaited energy subsidy reforms in December after months of speculation regarding the timing or degree of the subsidy cuts.

The price of heavily subsidized gasoline (for the first 60 liters purchased by each motorist per month) was increased to 4,000 rials ($0.40) from 1,000 rials per liter. All gasoline purchased above the monthly quota are priced at 7,000 rials per liter going forward.

Under the plan, all subsidies are to be gradually removed during a five-year period. The subsidy cuts (also known as Targeted Subsidies) plan - encompassing key consumer goods such as gasoline, natural gas, and food - is said to be one of the most important undertakings in Iran's recent economic history.

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 was 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 planned 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 former 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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