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Iran looks to domestic production for fuel

ISFAHAN, Iran, July 15 (UPI) -- New production capacity in Iran could help meet domestic demands for aviation fuel in the wake of new sanctions, Iranian executives said in Isfahan.

British oil company BP announced last week it was halting the sale of aviation fuel for Iranian airlines in the face of unilateral economic sanctions passed in Washington in early July.

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The European Union said last week that it was closing its airspace to most Iran Air flights after an audit revealed safety issues with Iran's passenger fleet.

Ali Dehqanian, the head of engineering services at the Isfahan Oil Refining Co., said Iran is producing more than 30 percent of its fuel needs through domestic efforts, the semiofficial Fars News Agency reports.

He said Iran could satisfy its aviation fuel needs through new fuel-production units that are nearly completed.

Outside of Iran, officials with Iran Air in Hamburg said it would "take some time" to figure out a way to compensate for the loss of sales from BP.

French energy company Total said it stopped selling fuel to Iran but it was unclear if that applied to activity outside the country. Royal Dutch Shell said it would honor its current contracts with the sanction-strapped country.

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