Iran increases gasoline production
Iran is taking measures including an increase in its gasoline production to counter recent US threats to penalize companies supplying Iran with gasoline, Press Tv reported.
"Some six to seven million liters of gasoline per day will be added to the capacity of Iran's refineries before the end of the year as the catalytic cracker complex at Abadan refinery will go on stream," Iran's Deputy Oil Minister Noureddin Shahnazizadeh said, according to Mehr news agency.
He added that the various projects iniated by Iran's refineries to increase gasoline production are 45% complete.
An Abadan Refinery official said earlier this month that the project should enable the refinery to increase valuable products such as petrol, diesel propylene and some gases used in petrochemical industries.
Shahnazizadeh has also said recently that Iran plans to construct seven new oil refineries at a cost of $27 billion by 2013.
"After the inauguration of these seven refineries, the production capacity of the country in gasoline and diesel will increase by 190 and 180 million liters per day respectively," he said.
The move is aimed at sharply increasing Iran's refining capacity in an attempt to cut gasoline imports.
Iran, the world's fourth largest oil producer, lacks adequate refining facilities to produce gasoline and allocates huge sums to import gas, which burdens state coffers.
"We have been working on a self-dependence plan for [the country's] gasoline demand for two years; this plan can be implemented in emergency situations," Iranian oil minister Gholam-Hossein Nozari said earlier this month.
The remarks come as the US Congress was mulling over legislation to block gasoline imports to Iran in an attempt to step up measures against the Islamic Republic for the pursuit of its uranium enrichment program.