Iran says it can more than double oil output

Goal announced nearly a week after sanctions relief.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |  June 9, 2014 at 10:20 AM
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TEHRAN, June 9 (UPI) -- Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said his country aims to more than double its crude oil production within the next three years.

The oil minister said Saturday the country's oil production stood at around 2.5 million barrels per day. Within the next three years, he said, production could reach 5.7 million bpd.

"The Petroleum Ministry's first program is to increase crude oil and gas condensate [production] capacity," he said in a statement Sunday. "To that effect, crude oil production should increase by 700,000 bpd."

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, of which Iran is a member, said Iran's oil production was 2.7 million bpd in April, the last full month for which data are available from the 12-member group. That's relatively in line with historic production, though off a 2012 level of 2.9 million bpd.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said last week there was enough crude oil on the global market to allow foreign countries to cut back on the amount of oil they get from Iran.

The U.S. government and its allies have placed sanctions on Iran's energy sector in response to its controversial nuclear program. Carney said with nuclear talks progressing, however, those sanctions would be limited.

"The United States has committed to pause efforts to further reduce Iran's crude-oil sales for a six-month period," he said.

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