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Iran Signs $13 Billion Worth of New Oil Contracts

Iran has signed new contracts for the development of oil fields worth $13 billion, planning to add 350,000 bpd to daily production.

The deals are the biggest in the energy space for the past decade, state news agency Shana reported. They were all signed with local companies, according to oil minister Javad Owji.

The production increase effort will focus on six fields, including the biggest one that Iran shares with neighbor Iraq—Azadegan—and its oldest producing field, Masjed Soleyman. The latter is the oldest producing field in the Middle East, with a total output to date of over a billion barrels.

Iran has been working on boosting both its oil production and exports for a while now and the effort is paying off. Last year, the country exported 1.29 million bpd on average, which was 50% more than a year earlier. As before, most of this went to China.

As for production, as of January this year, this stood at 3.163 million barrels. This compares with over 4.3 million barrels daily before the U.S. reimposed sanctions on Tehran, but there is space for growth. According to former oil minister Bijan Zanganeh, this growth could take the average daily all the way to 7 million barrels in less than ten years. The boost would cost about $70 billion, Zanganeh said recently, as quoted by Iran International.

Last year, Iran’s oil minister said the country’s oil production should rise to 3.6 million by the end of the Iranian calendar year, which ends this month. Output will probably fall short of that, as the latest monthly figures hover around 3.2 million barrels daily.

Last year’s exports, however, have topped the target for the next calendar year, which was set at 1.35 million barrels daily. The price, at which exports were calculated, was $65 per barrel.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on March 18 2024 said:
    Let's first put the record straight about Iran's crude oil production. With the exception of the late 1970s under the late Shah when Iran produced 6.0 million barrels a day (mbd), Iran's production since then has never ever exceeded 3.7 mbd against an OPEC production quota of 4.0 mbd awarded to it in 1981 let alone 4.3 mbd.

    Still, signing new contracts worth $13 bn for the development of oil fields and raising Iranian production by 350,000 barrels a day (b/d) will be a great achievement for Iran coming against harsh US sanctions.

    Iran is still continuing to export an estimated 1.5 mbd. Its former Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif once boasted openly in a conference in Qatar that "Iran has perfected the art of evading US sanctions and is happy to teach others for a price".

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Global Energy Expert

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