Iran rejects US 'bluff', sees 'very solid' oil production outlook
Iran’s senior officials remain generally upbeat about the country’s oil production outlook despite looming US sanctions which seek to drain a key source of revenues.
US President Donald Trump has pledged to bring Iran's oil exports down to zero, but Managing Director of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) Ali Kardor on Wednesday dismissed it as a "political bluff".
"Trump has begun his attempts to reduce Iran's oil exports months ago and it is wrong to think that he will do something special on November 4," Kardor said, referring to the date on which the sanctions are about to kick on.
"The American president has done whatever he can and he knows very well that bringing Iran's oil exports down to zero is a political bluff," he added.
Kardor said Iran's oil exports have only declined "very slightly" and that the country is “very solid” in terms of production outlook.
Iran also does not have any difficulties receiving payments for oil exports, he said, adding the Islamic Republic can accept payments in euros instead of dollars if necessary.
Iran produced 3.76 million barrels of crude oil in September, according to the country’s report to OPEC. Kardor said there is a capacity to raise Iran’s production to 8 million barrels per day with production enhancement methods and new technologies.
“Given that even US oil shale cannot meet the market demand in the long run, sanctions on Iran's oil and other producers will cause serious troubles for consumers in the coming years.”
The official also dismissed an International Energy Agency report that Iran’s oil exports in September had fallen to 1.6 million barrels per day, down from 2.7 million barrels per day in June.
“Given the enemies’ monitoring of our activities, no statistics can be given but the figure is not correct,” Kardor said.