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Official warns spiraling gasoline consumption in Iran

Ardebil, Sept 23, IRNA -- Managing Director of National Iranian Oil Derivatives Distribution Company Hossein Kashefi said on Thursday that gasoline consumption in Iran rose by 10 percent in the first half of the year (started on March 21).

Addressing a group of the Company officials, Kashefi said 63 to 64 million liters of gasoline are daily consumed in Iran.

He added that the consumption will amount to 72 to 79 million liters as of next year if no plan is adopted to check excessive consumption.

He said that by the next 17 years, daily gasoline consumption will reach 309 million liters, requiring spending of huge sum of foreign currency for gasoline imports.

The official said the negotiations underway at Majlis for allocation of dlrs 1.3 billion budget for gasoline imports testifies the ongoing shortages.

He called on the audience to take measures to improve consumption patterns and propagate the culture of economization.

Certain experts in Iran believe that the main cause for gasoline shortage in Iran is smuggle of the commodity out of the country.

Deputy Oil Minister Mohammad Aqaie had said on Tuesday that gasoline accounts for 1.5 million liters of the three million liters of oil derivatives smuggled out of the country a day.

Speaking at the open session of the Majlis, Aqaie put daily gasoline consumption at 62 million liters -- 13 million liters in Tehran alone -- and said more than dlrs 2.7 billion is spent on imports.

The official said the negative balance of gasoline supply and demand is due to growing number of cars plying on the streets, violation of consumption patterns and use of dilapidated vehicles.

He said should this situation continue, the consumption would double in the future.

Aqaie also put daily oil derivatives production in Iran at 250 million liters, including 39 million liters of gasoline.

He said that in the past three years, gasoline consumption has shown a growth of 10 to 11 percent, while the figure is minus seven and maximum one percent in European states.

He added that gasoline consumption in India and China shows minus seven percent growth and in the Persian Gulf littoral states and the US 0.8 percent.

The official said more than 1.4 million cars will be equipped with gas fueled system by end of the fourth five-year economic development plan (2005-10) to economize consumption.

... Payvand News - 9/24/04 ... --

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