Iran can boost its crude oil production to as much as 6.5 million barrels per day (bpd) when the U.S. sanctions on its oil industry are lifted, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh was quoted as saying on Monday.
Iran currently pumps around 2.5 million bpd and last produced close to the 6-million-bpd mark in the early 1970s.
When the sanctions are lifted, the Islamic Republic could increase its production to over 6 million bpd, according to the oil ministry’s website quoted by Reuters.
“The next Iranian government should make it a top priority to raise oil production to 6.5 million barrels a day,” Zanganeh said in Tehran on Monday, Bloomberg reported. Higher oil production will also give Iran more political clout, according to the minister.
Iran currently exports some of its oil, mostly to China, in defiance of the U.S. sanctions, but it is preparing to boost those exports to 2.5 million bpd once the sanctions are lifted.
Talks in Vienna on the return of Iran and the United States to the so-called Iran nuclear deal continue, with analysts saying both parties could be willing to see an outcome from those talks before the presidential election in the Islamic Republic on June 18.
If the ongoing talks result in an agreement, it will be in August at the earliest that Iranian barrels will hit the market free of American sanctions, Amrita Sen, head of research at Energy Aspects, told Bloomberg Television in an interview last week.
Even if a deal is announced as early as this week, it will take at least another two months for Iranian oil to start flowing to the market with the blessing of the United States, she said. This is because the Biden Administration will likely send any deal reached to Congress, which has 60 days to review it. The Administration could, in theory, bypass Congressional review, but Energy Aspects analysts don’t think it will do so, Sen added.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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