The Islamic Republic of Iran launched a new Oil Exchange, putting on sale a consignment of gasoline for export to show what it says is new found self-sufficiency in the vital fuel. The bourse is located on the island of Kish, an economic free zone in the Persian Gulf.
The world’s fifth-biggest crude oil exporter long depended on imported gasoline for 30-40 percent of its consumption, but now it produces more than enough of its own and has become a net exporter.
The launch of the Kish bourse is also part of Iran’s plan to deregulate oil products and petrochemicals prices and create more transparency.
“The first supply of export-grade gasoline will be registered at the Kish Island Products Bourse international hall beginning today,” said Akbar Hashemian, head of the Iran Product Bourse Co., which runs the Oil Exchange on Tuesday.
The consignment will amount to 20,000 tons, with an octane of 87, supplied by the Bandar Abbas refinery in southern Iran, Hashemian said, adding that the National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Co. had pledged to supply the bourse with up to 30,000 tons of gasoline per month.
An energy official said on Monday that Iran aimed to export up to 3.5 million liters of gasoline per day by next March, and Oil Minister Massoud Mirkazemi said on Tuesday that daily gasoline output would reach 76 million liters by then.
Iran’s oil ministry said last June its domestic industry produced 45 million liters of gasoline daily and that average gasoline consumption at the time was around 63.1 million liters.
“By increasing our production with 22 million liters of gasoline, Iran’s gasoline output will reach 76 million liters by March,” Mirkazemi said on Tuesday, implying current output is 54 million liters.
“Not only have the country’s gasoline imports dropped to zero, but it also joined the exporting countries’ club,” he said.
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