Minister: Iran exports gasoline instead of crude oil

Business Materials 1 June 2013 12:12 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Jun.1/ Trend F.Karimov/

Iranian oil minister Rostam Qasemi has said that the country is now exporting gasoline instead of crude oil, the Tasnim News Agency reported.

He shrugged off the effects of sanctions on its oil industry, claiming that a 20 percent drop in crude exports was being made up for by international sales of gasoline and other refined products.

On Friday, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) agreed to maintain the current production ceiling of 30 million barrels per day (bpd).

The agreement was reached by OPEC oil ministers during the 163rd ordinary session of the 12-nation group in the Austrian capital, Vienna.

Qasemi has said the West's economic restrictions have failed to undermine the Iranian energy sector because domestic contractors overtook Western energy giants.

He also noted that Iran is on its way to become a major exporter of petrol.

The United States Energy Information Administration said on March 28 that Iran sold $69 billion worth of crude oil and condensates in 2012.

This figure was $95 billion in 2011. Iran's oil and condensate export decreased from 2.5 mbpd in 2011 to 1.5 mbpd in 2012.

At the beginning of 2012, the United States and the European Union imposed new sanctions on Iran's oil and financial sectors.

The US-engineered sanctions were imposed based on the accusation that Iran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program.

Iran rejects the allegation, arguing that as a committed signatory to Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.