Iran's crude oil refining capacity doubles in 25 years
Iran's crude oil refining capacity has doubled to 1.6 mm bpd from 750,000 bpd in the 25 years since the victory of
the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Director of Planning at National Iranian Oil Derivatives Refining and Distribution
Company Asadollah Mikaeeli said that Abadan refinery had a capacity of refining 480,000 barrels of crude oil in 1979
but with outbreak of the war in 1980, the refinery's capacity reached zero.
Mikaeeli said Iran's gasoline output showed a growth of 4.3 %, kerosene 2.4 %, diesel 4.5 %, liquefied gas 3.71 %, and kiln oil 2.4 % on average over the past 25 years. He said liquid gas consumption showed a growth of 6.75 %, gasoline 6 %, kerosene 0.7 %, diesel 4.2 %, and mazute 2.5 % on average over the past 25 years.
Kerosene imports followed upward trend in the beginning of the 1979 Islamic Revolution but the commissioning of Arak
refinery in 1994 it began to decline. Iran halted import of the product from 1998, turning into its exporter. The
official said average kerosene exports stood at about 2 mm litres a day in 2003 and it is predicted to reach 2.6 mm
litres a day in 2004.
Iran's diesel imports continued rising until 1979, but began to decline in the 1989-1994 period when Arak refinery went into operation. Iran hence turned into an exporter of gas and oil from 1998. Iran is to import 1.6 mm litres of diesel next year, said the official.
Iran has never been able to achieve self-sufficiency in gasoline, said Mikaeeli, adding that Iran started importing
438,000 litres of gasoline a day in 1982. The imports showed steady growth until 1993, when Arak refinery was put
into operation, said the official, adding that the imports showed sluggish rise in 1997-1998 period following
operation of Bandar Abbas refinery.
He deplored continued growth in gasoline imports, which is expected to reach about 23 mm litres a day in 2004. The budget for the next financial year forecasts about 23 mm litres of gasoline imports a day, said Mikaeeli. He predicted that Iran's liquid gas output would reach 10.80 mm litres a day next year with oil exports standing at 51.8 mm litres.