In a bid to become a major player in the global downstream industry, Iran, OPEC's number two crude oil producer has inaugurated its first exchange for oil products and petrochemicals. The opening ceremony was held in Tehran via a video conference to the southern island of Kish where the new bourse is based.
Despite production of petrochemicals in Iran currently pegged at 22 million tpa, the country has failed to gain a significant share in the world export market because of state control of its petrochemical industry and state subsidies. Iran hopes that its oil goods exchange can lead the way for a domestic downstream industry to match its upstream crude oil production, the country's main foreign currency revenue earner.
The objective of the bourse is to make transactions (of oil products) transparent, create competition and motives for investment, so as to reach out to international markets as a big oil producer as well as an oil trader. Iran plans to open a market for trading crude oil as part of the second phase of the nascent bourse at an unspecified future date.