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Iran oil output at highest level in three years

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
An Iranian oil technician walks at the oil separator facilities in Azadegan oil field some 800 km southwest of Tehran on April 15, 2008. ©AP

Iran’s oil production has climbed to the highest level since sanctions were intensified against the country in 2012, new figures show.

Output rose by 50,000 barrels a day to 2.9 million in August, the highest since July 2012 when new sanctions led to a sharp decline in production and cut Iran’s exports by more than half.

On Saturday, President Hassan Rouhani said Iran had succeeded in increasing crude oil production from 2.7 million barrels to 2.9 million barrels in the last two years.

Iran currently exports above 1 million barrels of oil per day. Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh has said the country plans to add another million to its export capacity within six months after the removal of the sanctions.

For now, Iran’s focus is to reclaim its market share despite declining prices.

“With all power, we have to push aside the tyrannical conditions imposed against our country since protecting Iran’s share in OPEC and the global market is among vital parameters for us,” he told a live televised program.

“It is not a problem if our exports double and the price declines by half since we are used to lower prices and living with resilience," Zangeneh added.

According to new figures, output by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries rose 108,000 barrels to 32.316 million a day in August.

The biggest hike came from the United Arab Emirates which bolstered output by 150,000 barrels a day to 2.95 million barrels a day.

Top OPEC producer, Saudi Arabia, is producing oil at full capacity despite a huge excess of barrels in the market, leading to a decline in prices which hit a 6.5-year low last week.

In his interview last Wednesday night, Zangeneh said “certain countries” in OPEC are trying to harm other members by driving crude oil prices lower through flooding the market.

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