Iran plans to ramp up its crude oil exports even though negotiations with the United States on its nuclear deal are currently paused.
"Good things will happen regarding Iran's oil sales in the coming months," the country's new oil minister, Javad Owji said on Iranian television as quoted by Trade Winds, in the latest demonstration that Iran is pursuing its oil production growth plans despite continued U.S. sanctions.
"There is strong will in Iran to increase oil exports despite the unjust and illegal U.S. sanctions," Owji also said, as quoted by Reuters, adding that "Iran will return to its pre-sanctions crude production level as soon as U.S. sanctions on Iran are lifted."
The U.S. sanctions, reimposed on Iran by the Trump administration and maintained so far by his successor, have decimated Iran's crude oil production and exports. The latter fell from an estimated 2.8 million bpd in 2018 before the sanctions snapped back to as little as 200,000 bpd, according to Reuters.
Regarding production, the U.S. Energy Information Administration recently published an update on Iran, estimating that the country last year pumped less than 2 million bpd, which was the lowest production rate in four decades.
Outgoing Iranian oil minister Bijan Zanganeh said last month that the country had lost $120 billion from oil export revenues because of the U.S. sanctions, as they prevented it from exporting some 2 billion barrels of crude.
Earlier this year, an official from the National Iranian Oil Company said that Iran could ramp up production to levels close to pre-sanction output within a month after the sanctions are lifted and then to full pre-sanction levels within three months. This would mean total production of 3.3 million bpd and a production capacity boost to 4 million bpd, the official told Iranian media in June.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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