Iran said on Tuesday it can increase its oil production to pre-sanctions levels “very fast".
Iran’s Petroleum Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh told reporters the country has already carried out necessary tests to increase production from its producing fields.
“Within a few months after the removal of sanctions, Iran will be able to increase its oil production to levels that existed before the sanctions were imposed,” Zanganeh said.
Zanganeh said in late March that Iran will increase its production of oil by an extra 1 million barrels per day once the sanctions against the country are lifted. He said the increase will be provided from the collective production capacity of fields that have been put offline.
Iran’s current oil production is estimated to be around 2.7 million barrels per day of which about 1 million barrels are exported – as required by the current regime of sanctions.
The Iranian minister told reporters in his Tuesday press conference that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to open way for the return of Iranian oil to the market, stressing that the Islamic Republic will not abandon its share in the Organization.
“Tehran believes that for the market to be balanced, there needs to be a reduction in production at 5 percent which is equal to 30 million barrels of OPEC’s production,” Zanganeh told reporters.
This, he said, is what almost 10 OPEC members presently agree on.
Zanganeh further emphasized that Iran has already become immune to efforts by certain countries to hurt its economy by using oil as a weapon.
“The countries that longed to hurt Iran by reducing [the price of] oil used whatever they could resort to,” he said. “They reduced the prices as much as they could and it is improbable that the prices would go down further beyond the current levels”.
Zanganeh said Iran has been able to make significant progress in its oil industry in face of sanctions. He specifically cited the country’s ability to bring several projects in South Pars gas hub on stream, as examples of this.
The Iranian minister also said serious plans are underway to increase Iran’s gas production to as high as 200 million cubic meters per day before April 2016.
“This is what we planned by assuming that the sanctions will remain in place,” Zanganeh said. “If the sanctions are removed, things will proceed much faster”.