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Iran reports record in gasoline use amid queues at pumps

Iran’s Oil Ministry says daily gasoline use has reached a peak of 142 million liters.

Iran is experiencing record demand for gasoline these days as authorities deny rumors about a potential fuel price hike that has caused long queues at filling stations in large cities like Tehran.

CEO of Iranian Oil Ministry’s fuel distribution company (NIOPDC) said on Thursday that peak demand for gasoline had reached a record of 142 million liters per day in recent days.

Ali Akbar Nejad’ali said that average demand for gasoline had also reached 120 million liters per day in Iran over the busy travel days of this summer.

Other reports said the NIOPDC had supplied some 17 billion liters of gasoline to pumps across Iran since the start of the calendar year on March 21, up 13% from the same period last year.

That comes as experts believe a significant part of the fuel supplied to gas stations in Iran is smuggled to neighboring countries.

Facing with increased smuggling activity across the borders, the Iranian Oil Ministry has imposed restrictions on monthly gasoline quotas given to motorists while it has also tightened access to unsubsidized gasoline offered in filling stations.

That, along with rumors of a potential fuel price hike, has led to snaking queues at more than a dozen gas stations in Tehran in recent days.

In a bid to ease the queues, Iranian Vice President Mohammad Mokhber on Thursday ordered the Oil Ministry to cancel its restrictions on access to unsubsidized gasoline.

Iran has some of the cheapest motor fuel prices in the world. One liter of unsubsidized gasoline is worth 30,000 rials per liter ($0.06) in the country which is a fraction of prices charged in neighboring countries like Turkey and Pakistan.   

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