TEHRAN, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- Iran expects to deploy a domestically manufactured oil tanker, capable of carrying 35,000 tons of oil, by March, a shipping director said.
Hamid Rezaeian, managing director of the Iran Shipbuilding and Offshore Industries Complex Co., said the ocean tanker was expected to launch around the beginning of the Persian year, March 21.
The vessel can carry 35,000 tons of oil products and is valued at around $29 million, state-funded broadcaster Press TV reports.
Iran's consumer base for oil products has been restricted by sanctions imposed by Western governments concerned about the country's nuclear ambitions.
Iran ranks third among the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in terms of proven reserves. Iranian Deputy Oil Minister Mohsen Khojasteh-Mehr said this week that 14 billion barrels of crude oil during were discovered during the first three quarters of the Persian year.
OPEC stated in its monthly report for January that Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia were among member states that saw crude oil production decline, however.