particularly gasoline, constitute a category of strategic and widely consumed
products in Iran. Over recent years, despite the implementation of subsidy
reform plan and gasoline rationing, consumption of this energy carrier has not
declined, it has even increased in certain periods of time. Therefore, the
issue of self-sufficiency in gasoline production has been seriously pursued by
Iranian officials. Iran has been mulling investing $9 billion in its aging and
new refineries in order to become self-sufficient in gasoline production,
reduce sulfur content of its products and boost its refining capacity.
Furthermore, Iran has invested $9 billion in new projects, leading to the
reduction of sulfur production by 1,500 tones. A further $5 billion is being
invested in other projects.
distillation unit of the first phase of Persian Gulf Star Refinery became
operational. Now the first phase of this refinery is producing 12 ml/d of
euro-4 gasoline, 4.5 ml/d of euro-4 gasoil, 1 ml.d of euro-4 kerosene and 1.3
ml/d of euro-4 LPG.
By operating Persian Gulf
Star refinery, the country will see its octane-95 gasoline and gasoil output
increase by 35 and 14 million liters a day, respectively. During New Year
holidays when fuel consumption reaches its peak, Iranians consume a maximum 70
million liters a day. Therefore, with the start-up of Persian Gulf Star, Iran
will become an exporter of gasoline. This refinery would also produce 1.3 ml/d
of heavy gasoil, 2 ml/d of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), 3 ml/d of light jet
fuel and 130 tons a day of sulfur.
Persian Gulf Star
refinery is located in an accessible spot. Among its advantages are proximity to
South Pars gas field, access to sea for water supply throughout operation and
easy supply of raw materials and equipment with a view to facilitating exports
to different spots across the globe.
When this refinery was
planned to be built on 340 ha of land, two letters of credit (LC) were opened
for it. The stocks of this project were divided among Indonesia's Star Petrogas
Co., Oil industry Pension Fund Investment Company (OPIC), National Iranian Oil
Refining and Distribution Company (NIORDC) and Persian Gulf Star Oil Company.
But later on the Indonesian investor sold its 35% share to Iran's Social
Security Organization (SCO) and kept only 15%.
South Pars gas field
feeds 360,000 b/d of condensate to this refinery to be converted into light
So far, €3.8 billion has
been invested in this refinery which still needs € 650 million. National
Development Fund of Iran (NDFI) has agreed to provide the necessary finance.
Gas condensate is a hydrocarbon
liquid dissolved in saturated natural gas that comes out of solution when the
pressure drops below the dew point.
Gas condensate is often
viewed as a byproduct in natural gas recovery; however, it is even more
valuable than crude oil. According to studies, nearly 60% of gas condensates is
converted into naphtha and 30% to gasoil after processing.
Based on calculations taking
into account current prices of gas condensate, gasoline and gasoil, the margins
of processing a barrel of gas condensate reach $20, which is four times the
refineries fed with crude oil. That is to say gas condensate is a very valuable
feedstock for refineries operating with simple technologies.
Persian Gulf Star, Symbol
of Resilient Economy
Over the past three
decades, Iran has been facing unilateral sanctions slapped by Western
governments. Over these years, Iranian officials have sought to wean the
country's budget off oil. An important section of resilient economy in Iran is
to stop exporting gas condensate and instead processing it in the country.
According to resilient economy, striving to complete the value chain of oil and
gas and export products instead of unprocessed products would significantly
boost the country's revenue and help the country become resilient to
fluctuations in oil and gas prices.
Therefore, it is
necessary to enhance oil refining capacity in Iran to complete the value chain
of oil and gas condensate. In this regard, the Iranian Ministry of Petroleum
intends to bring a total halt to gas condensate exports over the coming four
years. Development of the country's refining capacity based on gas condensate
prioritization can earn the country billions of dollars in revenue. To that
end, Iran has the following gas condensate-fed projects under way: Persian Gulf
Star refinery with a capacity of 360,000 b/d, Pars refinery with 120,000 b/d
and eight 60,000 b/d Siraf refineries plus mini-refineries (with capacities of
Some of the old
refineries in Iran are located in Lavan, Isfahan, Tabriz and Bandar Abbas.
These facilities have seen the quality of their products, particularly
gasoline, improve in recent years. Construction of Pars, Anahita and Persian
Gulf Star refineries is among new refining projects. Among them, Persian Gulf
Star is of high significance for Iran's government as it would end the
country's dependence on gasoline imports.
Courtesy of Iran Petroleum