EghtesadOnline: Iran may revive a gasoline rationing system with two rates, which was eliminated by the current government in May 2015 to cut consumption, the spokesman of Majlis Energy Commission said.
“The country is likely to introduce two rates for gasoline under a rationing system, if consumption is not curbed or we would be pressured by the looming sanctions,” Asadollah Qarekhani was also quoted as saying by ISNA.
On May 8, US President Donald Trump announced that his country has unilaterally withdrawn from the Iran nuclear deal and the US Treasury Department plans to impose three rounds of sanctions on Iran in the coming months.
Stressing that no decision has so far been taken on raising gasoline price and fuel rationing, Qarekhani noted that the Oil Ministry will be in charge of determining the new gasoline prices, Financial Tribune reported.
Qarekhani said that in the previous round of sanctions, the country could not meet its gasoline demand, hence it resorted to rationing the fuel with two prices, which was effective in curtailing consumption.
“With the lifting of sanctions [in January 2016], domestic supply and demand for gasoline were almost equal, which led to the abandonment of the plan,” he added.
Fuel cards were introduced about 11 years ago under the leadership of former president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to cut costs and reduce gasoline consumption by rationing subsidized gasoline.
According to the official, the administration intended to increase energy prices, including that of gasoline, at the beginning of the current fiscal (started March 21), but the parliament did not approve the plan.
Referring to rising gasoline consumption and looming US sanctions as the main factors driving the country toward importing and rationing the fuel, Qarekhani said Iranians have burnt over 100 million liters on some days in the past months, while domestic production stands at about 80 million liters.
Phase 2 of Persian Gulf Star Refinery in the city of Bandar Abbas in southern Hormozgan Province, which is hailed as the Middle East's largest processing facility for gas condensate, was officially launched by President Hassan Rouhani in June.
The completion of second phase raised its capacity by 120,000 barrels per day to 240,000 bpd, with the third phase expected to add another 120,000 bpd of capacity.