Iran to boost diesel exports to Iraq
Tehran, May 18, 2013
Iran will more than double its diesel exports to Iraq thanks to higher capacity at its refineries, a leading oil official said.
Trade relations between the two former enemies have improved markedly over the last few years, with bilateral trade amounting to around $12 billion and Iranian officials hoping to double commerce within two years.
Tehran will supply up to 5 million litres a day of diesel, increasing the volume of an earlier agreement between the Opec member neighbours, the director of the National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company (NIORDC) said.
Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi signed a deal in March to supply 2 million litres a day of diesel to Iraq.
"Under the agreement, Iran will export 3-5 million liters of quality diesel to this neighboring country each day," Alireza Zeighami told Mehr news agency on Wednesday.
Iran has exported small quantities of diesel before but has been a net importer over the past few years because its own demand has exceeded its production capacity.
"It is forecast that production of Iranian diesel will reach 100 million litres per day this (Iranian) year," he said, adding that after meeting domestic demand there should be at least 3 million left over for export to Iraq.
In November, Qasemi announced plans to ration diesel sales at Iranian pump stations to prevent smuggling of cheap subsidised fuel to Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan and Turkemenistan.-Reuters