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EghtesadOnline: Improving health, safety and environment (HSE) management systems, safeguarding the environment, refinery expansion and selling oil byproducts through private companies top the National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company's priority list in the present fiscal year that started on March 21, NIORDC deputy director said on Monday.

“Improving HSE standards in the oil and gas industry is particularly important because of the high physical requirements and health risks of working in the fossil fuel industry. Failure to meet the necessary standards will lead to irreparable losses," Shahrokh Khosravani, was quoted as saying by ISNA.

HSE relates to standards for health and safety of employees and contractors and protection of the environment.

The official said plans are in place to attract billions of dollars to upgrade the aging oil and gas infrastructure following years of hiatus in trade with the outside world that deterred development and investment in the key industry, Financial Tribune reported.

He added that measures should be taken to raise health and safety standards in line with plans to ramp up oil and gas production.

"Modern refining infrastructure means higher quality products and less harm to the environment", Khosravani added.

Asked about other NIORDC priorities, he said refinery development projects are also on the agenda one of which is the launch of the Persian Gulf Star Refinery (PGSR) in south Iran that will significantly increase the supply of Euro-4 gasoline across the country.

The first phase of the Star refinery in Hormozgan is expected to get into full swing this month.

According to published reports, Qom, Chabahar, Yazd, Kerman, Bushehr and Rafsanjan are now receiving limited amounts of Euro-4 gasoline.

First phase of the refinery will have a capacity to process 120,000 bpd of gas condensate, a type of ultra light crude oil.

"Lavan Oil Refinery’s new gasoline production unit is expected to go on stream by June 2017, raising the refinery’s total gasoline output by 700,000 liters per day," Khosravani said, noting that upon the launch of the new gasoline production unit, Lavan's total gasoline output capacity will reach 2.8 million liters a day, meeting Euro-4 standards.

Regarding optimization of Isfahan Oil Refinery, the NIORDC official said Tehran has finalized an agreement worth $2 billion with South Korea's Daelim Corporation in February to renovate and expand the unit.

On expansion plans for the Tehran, Bandar Abbas and Tabriz refineries, Khosravani noted that feasibility studies are underway and as soon as the financial resources are available, the plans will be implemented.

According to the official, Abadan refinery will be refurbished at an estimated cost of €2.7 billion ($2.87 billion). The project is aimed at improving the refinery's processing capacity and efficiency in three years.

On privatization of gas stations nationwide, Khosravani added that the move will help the National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company, a subsidiary of the Oil Ministry, to gradually scale down its operational role and instead shift to supervision in the distribution of gasoline and other fuel products.

Reports say 26 domestic companies have so far obtained permits to operate gas stations.

NIORDC Iran oil Shahrokh Khosravani Iran Refinery Iran Refinery Infrastructure