“Private sector refineries have been very successful in meeting their objectives, as much so that the country has not imported even a litter of gasoline since December 2018,” said Nasser Ashouri, the Secretary General of the Association of Iranian Refineries, on Tuesday.
He added that the Persian Gulf Star Refinery (PGSR) is currently producing 45 million lpd of gasoline which, put together with the output from other refineries of the country, means that Iran is producing more than 100 million liters of gasoline per day, 10 to 20 million lpd more than its daily consumption.
Ashouri added that thanks to the domestic capacity in this sector, the US has been discouraged at its old plans for invoking global sanctions on gasoline exports to Iran.
When the Obama administration started enforcing secondary nuclear-related sanctions on Iran, including its extraterritorial bans on purchase of crude and return of its revenues to Iran in 2011, the then US House members started work on a bill that would envisage sanctions on the supply of petrol to Iran. The ban, of course, was never put into effect as the then Ahmadinejad government in Iran rushed to shift 7 major refineries producing other petrochemicals to start gasoline production which was later followed by a petrol rationing bill that detered the US House scheme altogether.
Earlier this month, Iran officially started exporting its home-made gasoline.
The cargo of Iran-produced gasoline which was exported to oversees on August 03 was the first shipment of the home-made product to foreign countries, marking Tehran’s entrance into the global market of the fuel as a seller for the first time in history.
Chief Executive of the Persian Gulf Star Refinery (PGSR) Mohammad Ali Dadvar broke the news, saying that the first gasoline produced in the Persian Gulf Star Refinery was exported overseas.
He described the shipment very successful as it was sold dlrs. 20 above the market rate indicating high quality of the product.
With regard to the main reason behind start of gasoline exports from this refinery, he added, “since domestic demand to this product is met and Iranian markets have been saturated for buying gasoline, at the decision taken by deputy oil minister and CEO of the National Iranian Oil Products, Refining and Distribution Company (NIOPRDC), export of this strategic product was followed up strictly.”
Elsewhere in his remarks, he stated, “gasoline produced in the Persian Gulf Star Refinery observes requirements of EUR-5 standard in terms of environment.”
The standard sulfur rate in this type of gasoline (EUR-5) should be less than 10 PPM (parts per million) while the gasoline produced in the refinery stands at less than 1PPM.
Back in mid-March, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said that the country is now enjoying surplus in gasoline production and will soon start exporting the precious fuel after registering reliable amounts in inventories.
Iran became self-sufficient in gasoline production back in February after the inauguration of the third phase of the PGSR in the Southern port city of Bandar Abbas.
On February 18, it was announced that the PGSR was then producing 103 million liters of high-quality gasoline per day with its 3 phases in full swing.
“Making the country needless to import gasoline, the three-phase mega project will annually create over $800 million added value in the oil and gas industries,” Managing Director of the National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company (NIORDC) Alireza Sadeqabadi said.
He noted that the PGSR aimed to enable the country export fuel and other high-value products.
With full implementation of the PGSR, the official said, the country’s gasoline output has now reached 103 million liters per day, while Iranian’s burn an average of 87 million liters per day of the strategic fuel.
“This can turn the country into a potential exporter of the fuel,” he said.
He noted that with the PGSR going on full swing, domestic gasoline production in compliance with Euro-5 standards will rise to 45 million liters per day.
The third phase of the Persian Gulf Star Refinery, known as the world’s largest gas condensate refinery, was launched in the presence of President Hassan Rouhani and Oil Minister Namdar Zanganeh.
The senior official said the construction of the fourth phase of the mega project has started and is expected to be completed in two years.
Each of the four phases is designed to produce 12 million liters per day of high-octane gasoline, 4.5 ml/d of Euro-4 diesel, 1ml/d of kerosene and 3 million liters of LPG a day.
Each phase uses about 120,000 barrels per day of gas condensate supplied from the South Pars Gas Field. When the fourth phase is up and running the refinery will consume 500,000 bpd of fuel.
According to Zanganeh, Iran’s gasoline production capacity in 2014 was 52 ml/d. while the output has reached 105 ml/d over the course of five years.
The Persian Gulf Star Refinery is the world’s largest gas condensate refinery and the first one in the Middle East. Over 70 percent of the equipment needed for building the facility was supplied by domestic manufacturers and almost all the installation and implementation projects were carried out by Iranian forces.