Russia President Vladimir Putin
Russia's President Vladimir Putin has led Russia into its worst crisis with West since the fall of the Berlin Wall Reuters

Western sanctions targeting technology used by Russia's oil companies could result in gasoline shortages in the country, according to an energy ministry official.

The latest Western sanctions included measures targeting technology for Russia's oil exploration in the Arctic.

Deputy head of Russia's oil refining department Yury Zolotnikov told Reuters news agency the ministry expected gasoline shortages next year and in 2016.

"So far there have been no such sanctions, but they obviously could create problems (for refinery modernisation,) Zolotnikov told Reuters.

Sanctions imposed to date have limited Russian companies' access to capital markets, with the state-run oil producer Rosneft suffering as a result. It has asked the state's sovereign wealth fund for temporary support as it seeks to refinance a number of loans.

Rosneft had planned to invest more than $21bn (£13bn, €16bn) annually, upgrading refineries and launching new ventures.

Zolotnikov told Reuters that refineries were unable to significantly boost production over the next two years, which could create a shortfall in gasoline.

"You can't rule out incidents at the plants, maintenance seasons in April-May and September-October, risks are being created. It is necessary that production is higher than consumption by at least three million tonnes," he said.

Russia has endured a number of gasoline shortages in the past, the most recent in May 2011.