A liquefied petroleum gas refinery in Arzew near the western city of Oran Zohra Bensemra / Reuters

Iran plans to build six small oil refineries in several African nations, the country's top energy official said.

"We have reached agreement with six African states, and the construction phase of the oil refineries will begin soon," Hassan Khosrojerdi, Iran's head of the Syndicate of Oil, Gas and Petrochemical Products, said Sunday.

Khosrojerdi did not specify which six African countries Iran negotiated with. However, Iran's Fars news agency reported in March that Algeria, Angola and South Africa had reached terms of agreement with Iran on building refineries in their countries.

The chairman said that Iran has already begun to research appropriate places to build the refineries, each to have a projected capacity of 20,000 barrels per day.

Iran, which has the second-largest natural gas reserves in the world and the fourth-largest crude oil reserves, has also held talks with Pakistan about establishing refineries there, according to Tehran Times.