IRAN'S (COSTLY) WAR ON AMERICA By AMIR TAHERI – New York Post Online Edition: postopinion
Nowhere is the cost of the so-called "War against the Infidel" more apparent than in Iran's oil industry. Projections made in 1977 envisaged the Iranian oil off-take to reach a daily capacity of 6.5 million barrels, with another 1.5 million available as emergency reserves. The capacity of the Kharg terminal, the chief export facility for Iranian oil, was increased from 5.5 million barrels a day to 8 million.

But lack of investment, and the virtual impossibility of accessing highly complex technology, has meant a steady decline. Today, the Islamic Republic produces something like 3.8 million barrels a day – a level Iran had surpassed in 1973.

Worse still, Iran has become an importer of petroleum products. Because the Islamic Republic failed to build enough refining capacity, it is now forced to secure nearly half of the nation's needs in gasoline and special fuels through imports. So nearly 30 percent of Iran's income from oil exports is spent on imports of petroleum products.

Iran's gas industry is in even poorer shape. Projections made in 1977 saw Iran emerging as the world's largest exporter of liquefied natural gas by the year 2000. Iran owns the second-largest deposits of natural gas in the world, after Russia, almost 20 percent of the global reserves. Yet it is importing natural gas from Turkmenistan to feed the country's only gas-turbine power station (at Neka on the Caspian Sea).

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