TEHRAN - A National
Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) official says gasoil exports from the country have stopped amid a surge in demand for the fuel in power plants where natural gas supplies have dwindled during the current cold season.
NIOC’s representative to the Iranian energy bourse Amir Hussein Tebyanian said on Thursday that gas oil shipments were no longer on offer for sales to foreign buyers despite growing number of bids submitted to the exchange market in recent weeks.
“Considering the domestic demand for liquid fuel needed in power plants, gasoil is currently unavailable in the (Iranian) energy exchange,” said Tebyanian.
The Oil Ministry official said that resuming gasoil exports from Iran will take months as he insisted that shipments will be on offer again once natural gas consumption in the household sector drops and power plants can burn gas to generate electricity.
The Iranian government has relied heavily on exports of gasoline and gasoil in recent years to offset American sanctions targeting its direct crude exports.
Reports have suggested that gasoil exports have generated up to $250 million in monthly revenues for the NIOC.
The growth in gasoil exports has been made possible by Iran’s extensive plans to develop its natural gas sector in recent years as the country has managed to connect many power plants to the nationwide gas pipeline network.
Those projects have led to a massive increase in natural gas production from the South Pars, the largest gas field in the world which straddles the maritime border between Iran and Qatar in the Persian Gulf.
Gas demand in the Iranian household sector rose to an all-time record of nearly 700 million cubic meters on January 23, according to statements by Oil Ministry officials.
Oil, Gas Sector to Grow 19.5%
A study by Iran’s parliament’s research center shows that Iranian oil and gas sector will grow by 19.5% in the calendar year to late March.
Excerpts of the report by Fars news agency showed that Iran’s oil and gas sector had grown by 27.5% in the quarter to late June last year, according to figures by the Statistical Center of Iran (SCI).
The study said that data by the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) had indicated a growth of 23.3% for the oil and gas sector in Iran in the June quarter.
That comes as CBI and SCI figures had estimated that growth in the Iranian oil sector was between 5.6% and 8.7% in the calendar year to March 2021.
The study by the Iranian parliament said that major growth reported in the Iranian oil and gas sector activities in the June quarter was due to the global recovery from the coroanvirus and efforts made inside Iran to get round U.S. sanctions and to deliver oil shipments to major customers in Asia and elsewhere.
It said that Iranian crude oil output had reached nearly 2.47 million barrels per day (bpd) in the six months to late September.
The study cited output data by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and concluded that Iran had exported 770,000 bpd of crude oil in the June quarter before increasing shipments to 820,000 in the September quarter.
The figures comes as a major blow to efforts by the United States to cut Iranian oil exports to zero in line with a unilateral regime of sanctions imposed by Washington on Iran since 2018.