Iran gasoline imports to hit 150,000bpd by 2005

SINGAPORE - Iran's gasoline imports will approach 150,000 barrels per day (bpd) by 2005 as demand outpaces production, up about 76 per cent from 2003 estimates, a report by US-based energy analysts said yesterday.


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Published: Sat 21 Feb 2004, 12:42 PM

Last updated: Wed 1 Apr 2015, 11:55 PM

Iran's estimated 2003 gasoline imports of 85,000bpd reflected broader Middle Eastern demand for light oil products, the report by Honolulu-based FACTS said.

But the oil market's focus on developments in Iraq's oil sector has distracted from major changes in the Middle East, especially in neighbouring Iran, the report by FACTS' Nancy Yamaguchi said.

Iran's economy is expected to grow 4.4 per cent in 2004, the US Energy Information Administration said in November.

"Iran alone this year has transformed the region into a slight net importer of gasoline," the report said.

Although it is the second-largest member of oil producers' group Opec, Iran spent $1.5 billion on gasoline imports for the fiscal year ending in March, Mohammad Sattarifar, vice president of Iran's Management and Planning Organisation said in January.

The FACTS report's estimated 2003 import figure of 85,000 barrels per day would mean Iran bought 7.6 per cent more gasoline last year than it did in 2002.

"Iranian gasoline imports were generally under 25,000 bpd prior to 2000, yet demand has continued to grow strongly, and growth in production capability has fallen steadily behind growth in demand," the report said.

By 2007, Iran plans to almost double its gasoline output capacity with the construction of three large condensate splitters, transforming the nation into an exporter of gasoline and reducing the output of heavier fuel oil.

Iran's shift toward producing lighter and more profitable oil products and away from heavier and more polluting fuels reflects a trend in the Middle East and worldwide.

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