Tehran — Iran plans to stop exporting gas condensates and instead refine the volumes domestically to produce gasoline and naphtha, oil minister Bijan Zanganeh said Monday.
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Speaking on the state-run radio, Zanganeh said the plan is to add value to the light hydrocarbons and that the exports would halt during the current Iranian year that ends in March 2021.
"All these gas condensates will be refined in the Persian Gulf Star and Siraf refineries ... to gasoline and petrochemical units feedstock," Zanganeh said.
the minister did not reveal how much Iran has been exporting. The country has struggled to find buyers for its oil due to harsh US sanctions reimposed in 2018.
The Persian Gulf Star refinery currently receives 420,000 b/d of gas condensates.
The Siraf project, first announced in 2014 but yet to be built, encompasses six plants with total refining capacity of 360,000 b/d of gas condensates. It will be located at the Persian Gulf complex, which is adjacent to petrochemical plants in the region. Naphtha can be used in olefin plants to produce plastic, among other products.
The giant South Pars gas field, which stretches offshore Iran into Qatar's waters, where it is named the North Field, is Iran's foremost condensates producer.
Zanganeh said South Pars and other nearby fields can produce up to 1 million b/d of gas condensates.
In early February, the minister said that about 130,000 b/d of the country's gas condensates feed its petrochemical plants and 80,000 b/d goes to domestic refineries, apart from Persian Gulf Star.