TEHRAN, April 26 (UPI) -- Iran, under a national development plan, could be self-sufficient in gasoline as early as 2013, executives said in Tehran.
Noraddin Shahnazizade, managing director of the National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Co., said domestic investments in refining capacity could bring substantial developments in energy production, the Iranian Oil Ministry's Petroenergy Information Network reports.
By 2012, refining capacity in Iran could reach 7 million gallons per day with the objective of reaching self-sufficiency by 2013, he said.
Iran sits on some of the largest oil and natural gas deposits in the world. Crumbling infrastructure, however, forces the country to rely on imports to meet as much as 40 percent of its energy needs.
U.S. lawmakers are pressing for tougher sanctions on Iran that target companies dealing in the Iranian energy sector.
Western pressure on Iran over its controversial nuclear program was credited in part for a decision by international oil and gas trader Vitol and Russian oil company Lukoil to stop doing business in Iran.
China, which holds veto power in the U.N. Security Council, however, continues to work in the Iranian energy sector.
Meanwhile, representatives from 30 countries, including Western allies, arrived in Tehran last week to take part in Iran's 15th International Oil Exhibition that ran through the weekend.