Iran to import up to seven million litres of gasoline daily
Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct.1/ Trend R.Zamanov
Iran will daily import five to seven million litres of gasoline in the second half of the current Iranian calendar year (ends March 20), the Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said on Tuesday.
"We have not ordered imported gasoline from a certain company or country. We simply need to import up to seven million litres of gasoline to increase the country's reserves," the Mehr News Agency quoted Zanganeh as saying.
"The price of one litre of gasoline is currently 5,000 rials (some $0.16 based on the price of USD on the free market), but we import gasoline at the cost of 70-80 cents per litre," he said, adding that the government needs to decide about fuel subsidies.
According to Zanganeh, the government will increase the price of gasoline next year.
Zanganeh announced on September 10 that Iran needs to import gasoline to meet its domestic demands.
"Iran's gasoline production capacity will raise by up to seven million litres by the end of the current Iranian calendar year (March 20, 2014), but even then the country's gasoline output would not meet domestic demands," the ISNA News Agency quoted Zanganeh as saying.
Zanganeh went on to note that the government is not going to increase the price of gasoline in the current calendar year.
Gholamreza Mesbahi-Moqaddam, head of Iranian parliament (Majlis) Planning and Budget Committee also said on September 13 there is no law against importing gasoline.
"So if the oil minister says the country needs to import gasoline there is no legal objection to the decision," he added, the Mehr News Agency reported.
Reports suggest that Iran may export oil to India in exchange for gasoline.
Iran's average gasoline consumption has reached 70 million litres per day which is seven per cent more than the previous year.
The figure has even increased to 80 million litres per day in the past two weeks due to summer trips.
The county's gasoline output capacity is currently around 67 million litres per day.
Once the gasoline production units of Tabriz and Isfahan refineries come on stream, the figure would reach 70 million litres.
However, the oil minister still believes that Iran needs to import gasoline to meet domestic demands.