Reuters: Iran said on Sunday it would export 2.6 million litres of gasoline per day due to a rise in production and fall in consumption, an official was quoted as saying by the semi-official Fars news agency.
TEHRAN, July 17 (Reuters) – Iran said on Sunday it would export 2.6 million litres of gasoline per day due to a rise in production and fall in consumption, an official was quoted as saying by the semi-official Fars news agency.
“Considering the country’s gasoline production capacity has increased to 70 million litres per day and consumption dropped to around 54 million, it is now possible to export 2.6 million,” said Ali-Reza Zeighami, the head of the state-owned National Iranian Refining and Distribution Co.
Zeighami added exports would be from current stockpiles.
In July 2010, the oil ministry reported Iran’s daily gasoline production was 45 million litres and consumption 63 million, with the rest made up by imports — an economic weak point deliberately targeted by U.S. and European sanctions.
Iranian officials had said the country’s production capacity would increase by 25 million litres after it built refineries. Some foreign analysts view this rapid transformation with scepticism, saying it would take years to add so much capacity.
Iran has been hit by international sanctions over its nuclear programme, which the West suspects is aimed at making nuclear weapons. Some of the sanctions introduced last year were designed to make it harder for Iran to import gasoline.
Tehran, which says its nuclear activities are peaceful, has repeatedly downplayed the impact of the sanctions.
The world’s fifth-biggest crude oil exporter had long depended on imported gasoline for 30 to 40 percent of its consumption, but made a big push to increase domestic refining after the sanctions were tightened.
It has also curbed domestic demand by reducing subsidies and raising pump prices, but trade sources say it is still importing.
(Writing by Ramin Mostafavi; Editing by David Hulmes)