Iran says sanctions not affecting oil stocks
|An increase in Iran's stocks of crude oil is a result of maintenance work at refineries at home and abroad rather than of international sanctions, the Iranian representative in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) stated here on Monday.|
The Mehr News Agency quoted Mohammad-Ali Khatibi as saying that due to recent international sanctions imposed on the country there have been some limitations in investments and the development of various oil and gas projects in the country, but Iran is not having any problems in procuring gasoline.
He cast off reports regarding a decrease in Iran's oil exports and said "the world needs Iran's crude and in the current state of affairs there is no special or abnormal situation in the trend of Iran's oil exports."
Despite being OPEC's second largest oil exporter, Iran depends heavily on gasoline imports due to limited refining capacity of its own.
Iran imports nearly one-third of its annual gasoline needs.
To combat sanctions, Iranian officials have been advocating consumption cuts on gasoline and building new refineries.
Last month, Deputy Oil Minister Alireza Zeighami said Iran was investing 26 billion dollars on new refineries by the end of the current development plan to 2014.
Iran has the world's third-largest proven oil reserves at nearly 138 billion barrels or over 10 percent of the world's total, according to BP's 2010 statistical review. Iran is also the world's fifth-largest oil exporter.