As phase two of Iran’s 360,000 b/d Gulf Star splitter project nears completion, dreams of gasoline independence have faded.

Iran’s state refiner NIORDC has begun running units in the second 120,000 b/d phase of the much-delayed three-phase Persian Gulf Star (PGS) condensate splitter project at Bandar Abbas.

PGS-1, where construction began in 2007, was slowed by a lack of funds during sanctions. Despite this, PGS was touted as a strategic project, vital to ending Iran’s...