Feb. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Iran plans to become a regular gasoline exporting nation within months, despite sanctions against the country, Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi said.
“The progress made in the oil industry has allowed us to leave behind the road of sanctions,” Qasemi was quoted as saying during the inauguration ceremony last week of a new gasoline-producing unit at the Abadan refinery, the oil ministry’s news website, Shana, said yesterday.
“With the coming on stream of this unit, Iran no longer needs to import gasoline and will be among the exporters of gasoline,” by the next Iranian year starting on March 21 or the following Iranian year at the latest, Qasemi said.
Iran boosted the refinery’s fuel output capacity by 2 million liters a day to 6 million liters, state television said on Jan. 31.
Iran, one of the main producers of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, formerly relied on imported gasoline to meet as much as 40 percent of its needs as it lacked sufficient refining capacity. The U.S. tightened its sanctions against Iran, over the country’s nuclear program, in 2010 to target foreign suppliers of gasoline.
Iran has exported Iranian-made gasoline in recent months to the U.A.E, Afghanistan, Iraq and Armenia, the state-run Mehr news agency reported in June 2012.
--Editors: Robert Valpuesta, Benedikt Kammel.