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Will keep raising production: Iran oil minister

OPEC secondary sources put Iran's current output at 2.93mn bpd

A file photo of Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh.
A file photo of Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh.

Iran will continue increasing its oil production and exports until it reaches the market position it enjoyed before the imposition of sanctions, Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh was recently quoted by the semi-official Mehr news agency as saying.

Zanganeh’s statement comes ahead of an April 17 meeting of OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers in Doha to discuss a possible output freeze to prop up prices, and his comment appeared to further threaten the prospect of an effective agreement at the meeting.

Bloomberg in an exclusive interview with Saudi Arabia's deputy crown prince Mohammed bin Salman quoted him as saying that Riyadh would agree to freeze crude oil production levels only if Iran and other major producers did so.

However, Zanganeh was also quoted by Mehr as saying that ’he agreement between the world's top OPEC and non-OPEC exporters such as Saudi Arabia and Russia to freeze output at January levels is a positive step’.

On the possibility of his attending the Doha meeting, Zangeneh said he would certainly attend the meeting ‘if he had time’, Mehr reported.

OPEC secondary sources put Iran's current output at 2.93mn barrels per day (bpd). It is working to regain market share, particularly in Europe, after the lifting of international sanctions in January.

The sanctions had cut crude exports from a peak of 2.5mn bpd before 2011 to just over 1mn bpd in recent years. However, “Iran’s exports of oil and gas condensates are now at more than 2mn barrels per day,” the minister recently told the Shana news agency.

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