Newly-returned Iranian Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zanganeh has prioritized the completion of the 360,000 b/d Persian Gulf Star condensate refinery – one of seven new refineries planned in the years following his earlier spell as minister. The ministry’s Shana news agency on 20 August attributed Mr Zanganeh’s plan to push this “strategic” project up the agenda, to growing gasoline consumption and the potential expense and energy security issues associated with a return to gasoline imports.

While Iran’s refining program has been curtailed by international sanctions, which have adversely affected all sectors of Iran’s petroleum industry, the National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company (NIORDC) claims significant progress with Persian Gulf Star, which will process condensate from the giant South Pars gas field. State news agency IRNA says the first of the project’s three 120,000 b/d condensate splitters is two-thirds complete and scheduled to start up in 2014 (MEES, 15 March). (CONTINUED - 571 WORDS)