Iran postpones producing premium gasoline after explosion in Abadan Refinery

14:30, May 25, 2011      

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Iran said Tuesday that it postponed producing premium gasoline in Abadan Refinery after an explosion happened in the inauguration ceremony of the new project.

Due to the explosion on Tuesday morning in the opening ceremony of the new gasoline producing project in Abadan Refinery, the production of gasoline will be postponed till the required repairing and reconstructions are done, the local Fars news agency said.

The local Mehr news agency quoted the oil officials in the refinery that the damaged part of the new project will be fixed in fifteen days.

According to the latest report, four people were killed Tuesday in the explosion caused by gas leak in the southern Iranian port city of Abadan, Mehr said.

So far, some 13 people who were slightly injured were receiving treatment, but non-official reports says over 20 people were seriously injured or burned, accoridng to Mehr.

Head of the Iranian Parliament Energy Commission Hamid-Reza Katouzian said Tuesday the blast in southern oil refinery was caused by technical failure and there was no intention behind the explosion, the semi-official ISNA news agency reported.

Katouzian said "there have been warnings that the refinery may face danger. So the explosion could be predicted."

"The refinery officials have already said that the industrial complex is not prepared to run in full-force way," he was quoted as saying.

The incident occurred when Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was to inaugurate a new gasoline producing project in Abadan Refinery.

The emission of the poisonous gas and the thick smoke have poisoned the staff and some of the participants, the report said, adding that some of the injured and poisoned were sent to a hospital in Ahvaz, the capital city of Khouzestan province.

The president and the delegation accompanying him were unhurt in the incident and the firefighters had taken the fire under control, Mehr said.

The experts are studying the major causes of this incident, local reports said.

According to Mehr, the development plan of the Abadan refinery was aimed at producing the premium gasoline and petrochemical materials.

Iranian oil officials have said that Iran would be able in a short time to meet its gasoline needs under any circumstances.

The United States passed the Iran sanctions bill which would punish businesses that supply Iran with refined petroleum or help develop the country's own refining capacity.

As the fourth oil producer in the world, Iran lags behind in the oil refinery industry and relies a lot on imports of refined petroleum and other energy products.

However, Iranian officials have reiterated that the West's potential gasoline sanction on Iran over its nuclear program will help the country gain self-sufficiency in gasoline demands.

Source: Xinhua
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