Iran upbeat on oil despite sanctions

Sept. 24, 2012 at 10:29 AM

TEHRAN, Sept. 24 (UPI) -- Despite sanctions imposed by the U.S. and European governments, Iranian oil production is moving along, the country's deputy oil minister said.

Mohsen Khojasteh-Mehr, Iranian deputy oil minister for planning, said Iran should be producing around 5.6 million barrels of oil per day by the end of the Iranian year 2015, Iran's state-funded broadcaster Press TV reports.

The U.S. Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said it expected Iranian oil production to decline to 2.7 million bpd by the end of the year. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said Iranian oil production this year is around 2.9 million bpd.

U.S. and European sanctions on the Iranian energy sector were imposed during the summer in response to transparency issues surrounding Iran's nuclear program. Its consumer base was affected by sanctions, though waivers were offered by the U.S. government for countries that "significantly" moved away from Iranian crude.

In terms of development, the deputy minister said 12 new oil and natural gas discoveries were made in the past year that increases the country's in-place oil reserves to 9 billion barrels.

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