Oil Output to Reach Pre-Sanctions Level

Oil Output to Reach  Pre-Sanctions LevelOil Output to Reach  Pre-Sanctions Level

Iran will increase crude oil output to its pre-sanctions level once a final nuclear agreement is reached and the sanctions are lifted, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said, ISNA said in a report Saturday.

"The sanctions in fact were an opportunity to implement the economy of resistance," Zanganeh said, calling for improving technology and services for oil and gas production.

The 'economy of resistance' is a policy proposed by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei to counter the sanctions, promote domestic growth and reduce consumption.

Following eight days of marathon talks on Tehran's nuclear program in the Swiss city of Lausanne, Iran and the P5+1 (five permanent members of UN Security Council, namely Britain, China, France, Russia, the US plus Germany) reached a framework agreement last week that calls for lifting all trade sanctions against Iran. The details of the agreement are to be finalized by a June 30 deadline.

Elaborating on the ministry's plans to boost oil, gas and petrochemicals output, Zanganeh said the first phase of the Persian Gulf Star Refinery in the port city of Bandar Abbas will be launched latest by next March, with phases two and three slated to come on stream within the next several months. The refinery will have a capacity to produce 120,000 barrels of gasoline per day in the first phase.

In addition, construction of a gas condensate refinery with 480,000 bpd capacity in Siraf in Bushehr Province will start in June. Plans also call for 1.5 million ton increase in annual production of ethane and polyethylene from South Pars gas field phases 15-18 in the Persian Gulf.

Zanganeh also said Iran will start gas exports to Iraq in the present Iranian calendar year (started March 21) as the level of exports is planned to increase next year.

He recalled further investment in the petrochemical sector, expanding the number of natural gas liquids (NGL) production units and exploiting associated gas that goes to waste in refineries as major plans of his ministry in the present year.