20 May 2007 - 09:54
  • News Code: 105043
Cabinet to Make Final Decision on Gasoline Quota Today

TEHRAN – The gasoline quota has been decided and the cabinet is due to approve it Sunday, said deputy petroleum minister here Saturday.

Mohammadreza Nematzadeh told Mehr that May 22 is the deadline for rationing gasoline.

A National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company (NIOPDC) official said Saturday that the daily consumption of gasoline soared to 78 million liters.

NIOPDC planning manager Saeid Ameri told Mehr that the figure showed a two percent rise in the past few days.

He said the daily consumption from April 21 to May 21 showed an 11.7 percent growth when compared to the figure of corresponding period in the previous year.

Ameri blamed gasoline storage by people ahead of May 22 rationing for the increase.

Meantime, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran would export gasoline from 2011 if the decreasing trend of consumption continued.

The president, in a TV address on his government’s economic performance, said, “Due to investments made to develop refineries, the country will turn to a gasoline exporter in case consumption keeps going.”

Ahmadinejad added the country was currently producing four million barrels of oil per day, of which 2.4 million barrels were exported and 1.6 million barrels were used in the country.

The price of oil and gas consumed in the country per year was more than the revenue gained through oil exports, i.e. 55 billion dollars, he regretted.

Ahmadinejad said the cabinet had submitted a bill to the Majlis (parliament) in a bid to prevent the illogical consumption of fuel, expressing hope the lawmakers would pass the bill.

He called gasoline rationing as a supplementary measure, underlining that the country was not able to spend 7 billion dollars for imports of gasoline and gas oil while a great volume of petrol was consumed in traffic jams and during unnecessary trips.

“We are trying to meet the public need in the gasoline rationing system,” he vowed.

The lavish consumption by Iranian drivers, encouraged by the subsidized prices that work out less than a comparable amount of mineral water, forces OPEC’s No. 2 producer to import billions of dollars of extra petrol annually.

News Code 105043

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