Iran sharply cuts petchem exports, reconsiders gasoline imports

TEHRAN, Sept. 17 (MNA) -- The Iranian deputy oil minister pointed out that the export of petrochemical products has mainly stopped following the implementation of a crash program to boost gasoline production in domestic petrochemical units.

Abdolhossein Bayat explained that the ministry might resume importing gasoline in late September.

 He noted that gasoline production capacity in 6 petrochemical complexes has reached 19 million liters a day, and added, “Currently what is produced in petrochemical complexes is transferred to oil refineries and is changed into high octane gasoline."

 The managing director of the National Iranian Oil Products Refining and Distribution Company Ali-Reza Zeighami said on August 29 Iran is about to take-off on producing a target 191 million liters of gasoline a day. He said that the country consumes 64 million liters a day.

 He added that if the gasoline rationing plan is not implemented the consumption figure will increase to between 100 to 120 million liters a day.

 Zeighami pointed out that the gasoline production plan will mostly be carried out by the end of the Fifth Development Plan (2015).

 Tougher gasoline sanctions over Iran's nuclear program imposed in recent months have restricted fuel imports. Increasing pump prices in Iran is aimed at cooling demand as well as saving state cash.

 Iran announced on Sept. 7 it had achieved a massive increase in its refining capacity and no longer needed to import 20 million liters of its 64-million-liter daily consumption.

 Under the rationing scheme introduced in 2007, a motorist can buy 60 liters of subsidized fuel per month for just 1,000rials per liter (around $0.11). Beyond that amount they have to pay a "semi-subsidized" price of 4,000 rials.

 MRK

END

MNA

News Code 41919

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