FINANCIAL TRIBUNE Aguast 8 2017
A southeastern European company is said to be close to entering Irans retail fuel market in a move that could dial down government monopoly on the distribution and sale of gasoline and other fuel products.
"A Greek-Romanian company, in cooperation with a domestic firm, is planning to commercialize filling stations in Iran," Mansour Riahi, managing director of the National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company, was quoted as saying by IRNA on Monday. He did not provide details.
"Many gas stations are currently being operated by private owners, but it has caused some problems," the official said, adding that awarding gas stations to brand names will help improve services at filling stations, as operators will be held accountable for shortcomings.
Riahi said last month that Royal Dutch Shell had opened negotiations to sell Iranian jet fuel in international markets, especially in the Persian Gulf littoral states.
"Shell, as a leading brand, will be authorized to commercialize Iran jet fuel, should the ongoing negotiations yield positive results," he said.
Reports circulated in 2015 that Shell and Total S.A. had acquired the rights to own and operate 200 gas stations across Iran, but government officials denied the reports.
There are 3,600 gas and diesel stations as well as 2,400 CNG stations in Iran.
Privatization of gas stations will help NIOPDC, a subsidiary of the Oil Ministry, to gradually scale down its operational role and instead shift to supervisory position in the distribution of gasoline and other fuel products.
A shortage of gas stations in Iran, particularly in the big cities, creates long queues of cars every day. According to reports, there is one gas station for every 7,500 people in the UK and one for every 2,600 people in the US.
But according to NIOPDCs data, there is one gas station for 22,000 people in Iran.