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Iran To Reduce Exports To Below Pre-Sanctions Levels

Iran

Iran will be decreasing oil exports to 2.4 million barrels per day in the current fiscal year, according to a recent report by the Azeri news agency Trend.

The last month of the last fiscal year, which ended on March 21st, saw export levels touch 3.05 million barrels per day. The new goal will bring those heights to just below pre-sanctions levels.

Since the international community lifted sanctions against Iran’s oil sector in January 2016, the country has been rebuilding international market share. Fellow OPEC-member and regional rival Saudi Arabia took most of Tehran’s lost business, which caused a production war until November of last year. It was then that OPEC agreed to 1.2 million barrels from production.

A portion of Iran’s export growth over the past few months came not from production, but from the sale of oil and gas stored in floating tankers. On April 2nd, the Oil Ministry announced that all stored resources had been sold.

New data from OPEC suggests that Iran has been slow to make promised cuts in production. Iran’s production was up over 36,000 bpd in February to 3,814,000 bpd. The last time Iran produced this much oil was in October of 2008. But on March 14th, Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh announced that Iran would cap production at 3.8 million bpd in the second half of 2017, as long as the OPEC production deal held.

Iran has been seeking more investment for its undeveloped gas and oil fields, some of the richest in the world. Last month, the country said production from the Azar oil field, which it shares with neighboring Iraq, had begun. Output is set at 15,000 bpd and is expected to double in the spring before reaching 65,000 bpd in March 2018.

By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com

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