TEHRAN, June 9 (Mehr News Agency) - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's special representatives in petroleum affairs have allocated $15 billion for developing domestic oil refineries.
The sum will be used to expand and increase efficiency and output in Tehran, Lavan, Abadan, Arak, and Isfahan refineries, IRIB news network reported on Wednesday.
Development plans in Anahita Refinery in the western Kermanshah province with a capacity of 150,000 barrels per day (bpd), and Hormoz Refinery in the southern Hormozgan province with a capacity of 300,000 bpd of crude oil and gas condensates will also be financed by the same resources.
New oil pipelines will be also built using the allocated funds.
Iran plans to build seven new oil and gas refineries in a bid to diminish its vulnerability to sanctions from foreign refineries.
According to the official Iranian news agency IRNA, the new oil and gas refineries will allow Iran both to meet domestic demand and become a gas exporter.
U.S. sanctions against Iran have been in place since 1987 but have so far had little impact on Iran's capabilities and determination regarding its nuclear program. Iran continues to affirm that developing nuclear power is within the country's legitimate rights.
Iran, having the world's second largest gas reserves and third largest oil reserves, is trying to play a more active role in oil and petrochemical transactions in international markets.
The amount shows a 797 percent increase in terms of value and 120 percent rise in terms of volume compared to the same period previous year, ISNA News Agency reported.
The figure accounts for 0.19 percent of Iran's non-oil exports' total volume and 0.55 percent of its total value in the mentioned period.
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