Iran has managed to increase the share of gasoline from its refinery output capacity to more than 27% despite US sanctions that hamper its energy sector’s access to technology and equipment, says a report.
The Saturday report by the official IRNA news agency said that the share of gasoline from total refining output in Iran was well above a global level of 24%.
That comes just less than a decade after Iran decided to ramp up gasoline production to prevent shortages that could be caused by foreign sanctions on the country.
Under the plan, Iran modernized a series of old refineries while launching a sprawling facility for production of gasoline on its southern coast to feed on massive natural gas resources in the Persian Gulf.
That enabled the country to become a net exporter of gasoline and gave the government a new source of earning hard currency at a time of increased financial pressure because of US sanctions.
The report by IRNA said, however, that Iran needs to do more to improve the upgrading capability in its refining sector. It said that the country scores 5 on the Nelson Complexity Index, which measures the quality of refinery operations in a country, well below a score of 9 recorded for developed countries.
The report said heavy oil still accounts for a bulk of output in the Iranian refineries, adding that the country is responsible for five percent of the global production of mazut.
Iran’s Oil Minister Javad Owji said recently that Iran plans to implement extensive expansion programs in its refineries to increase output of the sector to 3.5 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2025, up from a current production of 2.2 million bpd.