TEHRAN, July 20 (UPI) -- Iran plans to diversify its export strategy for natural resources to move away from commitments to crude oil as officials predict static market conditions.
Iranian Oil Minister Gholamhossein Nozari said his country would decrease the amount of crude oil it exports amid a looming threat of energy sanctions on Iran.
The Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act of 2009 currently before U.S. lawmakers calls on foreign governments to halt investments in the Iranian energy sector as part of a measure to punish Iran for its controversial nuclear program.
Nozari said his country was committed to pursue the export of more valuable oil products to get around the sanctions effort by constructing new petrochemical plants throughout Iran, Press TV reports.
Meanwhile, Ali Asghar Arshi, the international affairs manager at the National Iranian Oil Co., said a recent surge in oil prices toward $70 was not in line with market fundamentals.
He told the Petroenergy Information Network that energy demand was not likely to increase until 2010, adding oil prices should settle at around $72 per barrel of crude by the end of the year.