TEHRAN, March 16 (UPI) -- The Iranian Oil Ministry was ordered by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to import gasoline through June to build national reserves, officials said.
"Iran's gasoline imports will continue until mid-June to build enough reserves for next year," said Noureddin Shahnazizadeh, a managing director of the National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Co.
Iran sits on the second-largest deposits of natural gas in the world after Russia. A poor investment climate, sagging infrastructure and pressure from economic sanctions have all impacted the domestic gas sector, however.
Shahnazizadeh said gas imports would be funded with oil revenues if budget allocations were insufficient, Iran's Press TV reports.
Iran has recently boasted of foreign investments in its massive gas fields, notably a $4.2 billion package for development at the South Pars gas field.
The South Pars deal, however, comes as French supermajor Total pulled out of portions of South Pars and U.S. President Barack Obama extended economic sanctions on Iran for another year.