Monday, June 28, 2010

Iran sets sights on gasoline export market

TEHRAN,(UPI) -- Iran will start exporting gasoline within two years despite an international push to put pressure on the Iranian energy sector, officials said in Tehran.

A measure passed last week by U.S. lawmakers bars international companies doing business with designated Iranian banks from the U.S. financial system. The measure also targets investors who continue to invest in the Iranian energy sector or who export refined petroleum products to Iran.

The unilateral measure follows a similar deal passed in early June at the U.N. Security Council.

Deputy Oil Minister Ali Reza Zeighami said that despite the sanctions, Iran would begin exporting gasoline to international markets within the next two years, state-funded broadcaster Press TV reports.

"Despite sanctions, Iran will be self-sufficient in gasoline production within two years and after that we can begin exporting gasoline," he said.

The deputy minister said Iran produces around 11 million gallons of gasoline per day and imports another 5 million gallons each day. Five refineries, the minister added, would increase production substantially.

"After completion of these projects, Iran's gasoline production will hit 34 million gallons per day," he added.

He didn't indicate when the refineries were expected to go into service.

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