iran gasoline import slump defuses western sanction
Last Updated : GMT 19:52:12
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Iran gasoline import slump defuses western sanction

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Iran gasoline import slump defuses western sanction

Tehran - Fars

Iranian gasoline imports have slumped by as much as 95 percent over the last four years, according to official government data, as rising refinery capacity and lower fuel subsidies help neutralize western sanctions aimed at starving Tehran of fuel.Iran\'s inadequate petrol production and rampant internal demand for a heavily subsidized cheap fuel had intensified gasoline import dependency until 2007 - a vulnerability that western governments targeted by blocking fuel supplies to pressure Tehran over its progress in the civilian nuclear technology. But gasoline imports have fallen from 204,000 barrels per day (bpd), or 32.47 million liters a day in June 2007 to at least a 10-year low of 10,000 bpd (1.59 million liters) in June 2011, according to Joint Data Initiative (Jodi) figures, while seasonal peak imports were down nearly 70 percent in January 2011 from highs of 244,000 bpd in January 2007. Thanks to fuel rationing, a four-fold pump price hike and Iran\'s increasing ability to refine its own oil, the share of imports in Iran\'s gasoline supplies has dipped from around 40 percent a few years ago to less than 5 percent, putting pressure on Washington and Brussels to find new ways to squeeze Tehran economically, although Tehran has already proved that whatever way they find, Iran will defuse it by hard work and self-reliance. \"The enemies planned to push the country toward crisis and difficulties by halting sale of gasoline but the oil industry staff ... through relentless efforts, could raise production of gasoline to prove they can offset sanctions easily,\" Iran\'s Oil Minister Rostam Qassemi said on Sunday. According to the Iranian government, Iran\'s daily gasoline consumption has fallen from around 76 million liters in 2006 to around 60 million liters a day (376,931 bpd) in early October 2011, despite the number of vehicles doubling over the period. In August, Qassemi ensured that the country is able to satiate domestic needs to gasoline consumption. \"Fortunately, our gasoline reserves are at a desirable level,\" Qassemi said, and added, \"At present, we are moving in a direction that meets the country\'s need for gasoline through domestic production.\" He also expressed the hope that Iran would export gasoline to different parts of the world once it accomplishes its new refinery-construction projects throughout Iran. \"Despite increasing the number of vehicles of the country ... gasoline consumption has fallen considerably,\" President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on national television in early October, adding that had he not slashed subsidies daily gasoline consumption could now be around 127 million liters. 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 in August, Qassemi said Tehran would turn into a major oil exporter in the world after launching more refineries. \"Presently we are self sufficient in production of gasoline, while after the completion and putting to use our new refineries throughout Iran, during the course of the next couple of years we will be one of the major gasoline exporters in the world,\" Qassemi said. Iran\'s imports of gas oil and diesel oil also fell by about 27 percent from November 2008 peaks of 80,000 bpd to 58,000 bpd in November 2010, Jodi data shows.

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