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Iran plans to ramp up oil production over the course of 2016, and there is no chance of the country joining any output freeze, Iranian Deputy Oil Minister Rokneddin Javadi confirmed on Sunday.
"Under the present circumstances, the government and the Oil Ministry have not issued any policy or plan to the National Iranian Oil Co. (NIOC) towards halting the increase in the production and exports of oil," Javadi, who also runs the nationalized National Iranian Oil Co. (NIOC), said.
The Iranian official added that the country has been implementing a plan to raise oil production and crude exports to pre-sanctions levels since sanctions were lifted in January.
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Saudi Arabia has previously demanded that Iran join the other members of OPEC in freezing oil production in order to rebalance the market. Iran declined to participate in the OPEC summit last month due to the disagreement.
"If prices went up to $60 or $70, that would be a strong factor to push forward the wheel of development,” an oil ministry official told the International Business Times during the dispute in April. "But this battle is not my battle. It’s the battle of others who are suffering from low oil prices.”
The 169th meeting of OPEC is set to take place in Vienna on June 2nd and will include Iran - Saudi Arabia’s main regional rival.
NIOC currently exports two million barrels per day, according to Javadi’s numbers, and by the middle of this summer, the figure will increase to 2.2 million barrels a day.
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In related, news Chinese oil giants Sinopec and China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) have recently been approved to develop the second phases of two oilfields in Iran.
Global Times reported on Monday that the Yadavaran oil field would produce 85,000 more barrels of oils per day after Sinopec’s project is completed. CNPC’s effort in North Azadegan will have similar effects, the agency said.
CNPC had signed contracts with Iran in 2009 for the field’s development, but international sanctions interfered with their implementation.
By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com
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Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…