Latest data by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) shows Iran continued to increase its crude oil output in the calendar month to late July.
OPEC figures cited in a Wednesday report by IRIB News showed that Iran’s crude output reached 2.485 million barrels per day (bpd) on average in July, up 28% against similar month in 2020.
Quarterly output reached an average of 2.443 million bpd in the June quarter, up against 2.214 million in first quarter this year, showed the figures.
Iran has managed to increase its oil output despite American sanctions targeting its exports. The country’s production was around 3.813 million bpd and exports were nearly 2.8 million bpd in 2017 a year before the sanctions were imposed.
Output declined to 3.553 million bpd in 2018 and then to 2.356 million bpd in 2019 before it hit its lowest as a result of the US bans at 1.988 million bpd in 2020, according to OPEC estimates which are based on data from secondary sources.
Rising production of crude means Iran is exporting more despite tight bans imposed on the country’s petroleum trade.
Reports in recent months have suggested that oil exports from Iran mostly to Asian customers have reached an average of 1 million bpd, up from lows of below 300,000 seen in 2020.
Iranian authorities say crude exports could easily return to pre-sanctions level if Tehran and world powers reach an agreement to revive a 2015 nuclear agreement which Washington pulled out of in 2018 before it imposed its sanctions on Iran.
Increased output and sales of crude comes as Iran is benefitting from a recovery in demand for fuel in countries like China where governments have eased coronavirus restrictions on travel and economic activity.