The Russian oil giant LUKoil has stopped shipping gasoline to Iran, following fears of US retaliation.
Press TV, 7 April 2010
Previously, the company shipped between 250 and 500 thousand barrels of gasoline to Iran every month, reported Russia's RIA Novosti news agency.
Although sitting on vast oil and gas reserves, Iran's gasoline refinery output has not kept pace with the growing number of cars in the country. The country therefore imports a proportion of its required gasoline from abroad.
Recent unilateral US sanctions have focused on punishing international companies that supply gasoline to Iran.
Speaking on April 3, the head of Iran's Committee for Transportation and Fuel Management said Iran was capable of becoming self-sufficient in gasoline production during the current Iranian year (ending March 20, 2011).
"Iran's gasoline consumption stands at 62 million liters (16.38 million US gallons) per day, of which 45 million liters (11.89 million US gallons) are produced domestically," said Mohammad Rouyanian.
"In normal circumstances, we would not become self-sufficient in gasoline production this year, but, if certain conditions, such as sanctions are created, then we can increase our gasoline production to meet domestic demand and this can happen by the end of the year, and even during the first quarter of the new [Iranian] year (June 21)," he added.
Last month, LUKoil announced it was quitting a project in Iran's Anaran oil field.