Commonly known as Persian Gulf Star refinery, in allusion to the
name of its constructor Persian Gulf Star Oil Company, the refinery is being
developed in three phases. With a capacity of processing 360,000 b/d of gas
condensate for an output of 26 million liters a day of gasoline, the facility
is the largest gas condensate refinery in Iran.
Phase 1 of this refinery was inaugurated during the first term in
office of President Hassan Rouhani. Phase 2 of the facility is expected to
become operational in coming months.
Ali-Reza Sadeq-Abadi, CEO of National Iranian Oil Refining and
Distribution Company (NIORDC), told a press conference the Euro-5 grade
gasoline production at the refinery had reached 22 million liters a day, from
12 ml/d produced until recently.
He said that Phase 1 of the refinery started producing 11 ml/d of
gasoline, which rose to 16 ml/d and now had hit 22 ml/d.
Sadeq-Abadi said domestically manufactured catalysts had been used
in Phases 1 and 2 of the refinery. "Of course Phase 2 catalyst had been
upgraded. The sulfur content of Euro-5 gasoline must be below 10 ppm and in
this refinery it is even below 0.5," he added.
Sadeq-Abadi said President Rouhani had given green light for the
allocation of €260 million budget for the completion of the refinery.
"€120 million has been provided from the sales of refined
products while €120 million will be earmarked from the National Development
Fund of Iran (NDFI)," he said, adding that manufacturers and contractors
had been remunerated.
32ml/d Euro-4 Gasoline
Sadeq-Abadi also referred to Euro-4 gasoline production at the
Arak, Tabriz, Isfahan and Abadan oil refineries, saying: "The refineries
are supplying 32 ml/d of Euro-4 gasoline. Of course, the average daily
production stood at 28 ml/d in the Iranian calendar year 1396 (March 2017-March
He added that Lavan refinery's 2.5 ml/d Euro-4 gasoline production
capacity would rise to 3 ml/d by September, while Abadan refinery's Euro-4
gasoline output would reach 9 to 10 ml/d, 2 ml/d of which would be green
gasoline lacking any benzene or aromatics.
Regarding Euro-4 gasoil production, Sadeq-Abadi said: "Euro-4
gasoil production at Tehran, Arak, Isfahan and Lavan refineries stood at 28
ml/d with the average for the Iranian calendar year 1396 having been at 26
He said that in the new Iranian calendar year, gasoil production
would increase to 105 or 110 ml/d, 70 ml/d of which would be Euro-4 grade.
Average gasoline production was at 60 ml/d during the first quarter
of the Iranian calendar year 1396, which reached 78 ml/d by the end of that
year. Bandar Abbas condensate refinery accounted for 9 ml/d.
Quantity, Quality Upgrade
Sadeq-Abadi said Bandar Abbas condensate refinery's production
totaled 36 ml/d.
"Our perspective for gasoline production up to the end of the calendar
year 1397 would be 105 ml/d, 87 ml/d of which would be Euro-4 and Euro-5
grade," he added, noting that it would represent a big jump in both
quantity and quality.
Sadeq-Abadi said that all refineries would be overhauled in the
current Iranian calendar year. However, he added, the overhaul schedule would
be such that their average output would be least affected.
Regarding fuel distribution, he said: "65% of fuel
distribution rests with Iran Oil Pipeline and Telecommunications Company
(IOPTC) and 35% with National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company
Fuel Mix Diversity
Sadeq-Abadi said gasoline production was forecast to grow 9% in the
current calendar year.
"Apart from gasoline, gasoil production is set to grow about
7% this [calendar] year. Therefore, we cannot remain indifferent vis-à-vis fuel
consumption," he added.
Noting that a good jump had been seen in the gasoline production
capacity, Sadeq-Abadi said: "In order to reduce gasoline consumption,
certain arrangements need to be made in car manufacturing and their fuel
"To that effect, we can study diversification of fuel mix and
increase the share of CNG (compressed natural gas) in this mix," he added.
Average gasoline consumption in the first month of the current
calendar year (started on March 21) was 11% up year-on-year, said Sadeq-Abadi,
adding that gasoline consumption had grown 10% in the same period year-on-year.
Sadeq-Abadi said imported gasoline had been partly stored and
"Average gasoline imports during the first half of last
calendar year was 13 ml/d, which was down to 5 ml/d in the last quarter of that
year," he added. "Gasoline imports are estimated at about $2
billion," said Sadeq-Abadi, adding that the International Affairs
Directorate of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) was handling gasoline
Sadeq-Abadi also touched on the Siraf refining project, saying:
"The L/C for four refineries has taken effect and three refineries have
yet to be finalized. We are in talks with four companies."
Iran Sanctions-Era Refining Project
Sadeq-Abadi also referred to the impact of economic sanctions on
petroleum industry development, saying: "We have used the most
sophisticated equipment in the construction of the Persian Gulf Star refinery
and this equipment is becoming operational. No specific equipment is planned to
He said that during the years of sanctions, Iran developed some
"Persian Gulf Star refinery was launched under sanctions. That
proves the capability of Iranian manufacturers," he added.
Sadeq-Abadi highlighted Iran's $30 billion refining industry
market, saying: "Sanctions will not just inflict losses on Iran's
petroleum industry; international companies will also suffer losses due to
losing this market. Iran is a big market and it could not be easily
He said that the refining industry needed to provide its financial
resources in hard currency because Iran's legal tender would not be attractive
for this sector.
Courtesy of Iran Petroleum