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Iran decries heavy domestic oil product consumption

TEHRAN, Aug 17 (Reuters) - Iran's consumption of oil products exceeds international norms by an order of 10, forcing it to import six million litres of gasoline per day, the official IRNA news agency said on Thursday.

IRNA quoted deputy oil minister Ali Aqababaei as saying average daily consumption of oil products was estimated at 46 million litres, enough to put the country on a par with India, which has more than 12 times the population.

Aqababaei said ``irregular'' consumption of gasoline required Iran, the second biggest oil producer in OPEC, to import six million litres a day to keep pace with demand.

Aqababaei, who is also managing director of the state oil products distribution company, blamed what he called ``unconventional fuel consumption'' for the huge demand.

Petrol in Iran is heavily subsidised and periodic government attempts to raise prices in order to limit demand and ease the burden on the budget are generally beaten back by a parliament fearful of public reaction.

Officials also blame outmoded passenger cars -- the primary model is based on 1960's technology once imported from Britain -- as well as smuggling and outright waste for heavy petrol demand.


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