Iran plans to increase its refining capacity for crude and natural gas condensate by more than 70 percent within the next four years as it works to improve the quality of fuel sold on the domestic market and wean itself off imported gasoline.
The Persian Gulf oil producer will raise capacity to about 3.2 million barrels a day by 2020 from 1.85 million currently by building five plants, Abbas Kazemi, managing director of National Iranian Oil Refining & Distribution Co., said in Tehran. The country also needs about $14 billion in investment to upgrade units at five existing refineries to produce gasoline that burns more cleanly than grades currently available in the country, he said.
Iran, OPEC's third-largest oil producer, is boosting energy output after international sanctions curbing its access to oil markets were eased in January. Since then, Iran has restored oil production to near pre-sanctions levels and raised output of natural gas.