Baku, Azerbaijan, May 30
By Fatih Karimov - Trend: Iran has been turned into the world's biggest fuel oil exporter, Saeed Mahjoobi, an official with the National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company said.
With the rise in natural gas production of the South Pars gas field, Iran has been turned into the world's largest fuel oil exporter, Iran's Mehr news agency quoted Mahjoobi as saying May 30.
For the time being, some 100 million liters of fuel oil is produced in the country's refineries, he noted.
Exporting fuel oil in large volumes is on the agenda, he said, adding that fuel oil has been replaced with natural gas in many power plants and industrial units in the country.
Iran is sidestepping Western sanctions and managing to sell hundreds of thousands of metric tons of fuel oil every month through companies based in the U.S.-allied United Arab Emirates, trading sources say.
The U.S. and EU sanctions that came into force in 2012 prohibit the import, purchase and transport of Iranian petroleum products to pressure Tehran to halt its disputed nuclear program.
Iran is keen for any extra income as sanctions have halved its crude exports - its main source of revenue - to just over 1 million barrels per day.
Iran uses fuel oil for electricity generation and to power ships, but unlike other more refined products such as diesel or gasoline, it has a surplus to export.
The trading sources estimated Iranian fuel oil exports at around 200,000-400,000 metric tons per month in recent months. That compares with 600-650,000 metric tons in 2011, before sanctions.
Edited by CN