Crude Output, Exports Double

Crude Output, Exports DoubleCrude Output, Exports Double

Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said Iran's crude production and export capacities have doubled compared to levels seen during the sanctions.

"Thanks to JCPOA (Iran's nuclear agreement with six world powers known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), production and export of crude oil and its byproducts have risen twofold compared to the sanctions period," Zanganeh said in a seminar of Iranian ambassadors late Saturday, IRNA reported.

Sanctions cut Iran's crude output to around 2.5 million barrels per day and reduced exports to barely above 1 million bpd.

According to government officials, Iran is now pumping around 3.5 million barrels a day and closing in on its pre-sanctions level of 4 million bpd, with sanctions standing at 2.4 million bpd.

Iran occasionally posted better export records, including after a six-month waiver of some trade restrictions in 2014 that allowed Iran to temporarily ramp up crude exports and also boost trade in key economic areas such as automotive sector as well as gold and precious metals.

"We can now clearly see the benefits of sanctions removal on the Oil Ministry's projects," Zanganeh said.

"We have witnessed a decline in the price of some equipment and machinery for South Pars [Gas Field] phases. For instance, 40% of the money that went into the pocket of middlemen have been slashed."

Nuclear-related sanctions against Iran were revoked on January 16 following a historic deal between Tehran and six world powers (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany) in July 2015 that called for limiting Iran's nuclear program in exchange for the removal of some decade-old financial and trade embargos.