Iran: Oil exports near record 3 million bpd
Total exports of crude oil and gas condensate by Iran neared a record 3 million barrels per day (bpd) in the Persian month of Esfand which ended on March 21, Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh says.
Iran has been ramping up crude oil production to win back its market share since sanctions were lifted on the country in January 2015 under a nuclear accord with world countries.
“The pace of growth in Iran’s crude oil production and exports has amazed international observers who did not think Iran could raise its production by 1 million barrels per day within three to four months after the cancellation of sanctions,” Zangeneh said, Press TV reported.
Iran’s oil exports stood around 1 million bpd during the years when the West intensified sanctions on the Islamic Republic in 2011 over its nuclear program.
Total exports of crude oil and condensate averaged 2.8 million bpd in the months up to the new Iranian year which started on March 21, Zangeneh said.
“We have managed to establish this rate as a right of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and bring Iran’s (market) share to figures before the sanctions,” Zangeneh said.
Zangeneh also said a series of South Pars development projects, implemented with $20 billion of investment, will become operational in the current Iranian year.
The South Pars field in the Persian Gulf contains some 14 trillion cubic meters of gas, which accounts for eight percent of the world's known reserves. It is divided into 24 phases on the Iranian side for development.
According to the oil minister, Phases 17, 18, 19, 20 and 21 as well as South Pars' oil layer are among the projects to come online.
Last month, an official from the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) said Iran had begun producing oil from the oil layer which lies in the same area as the super giant South Pars gas field, but is developed separately.