Iran boasts of oil production gains since last year

An increase in oil production from the No. 3 in OPEC comes ahead of a meeting meant to decide the fate of multilateral cuts.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |  Nov. 6, 2017 at 9:08 AM
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Nov. 6 (UPI) -- A state-run oil company in Iran, one of OPEC's largest producers, said its total crude oil production is up more than 1 million barrels per day from last year.

The National Iranian South Oil Co., which accounts for about 80 percent of total Iranian oil production, said it supplied 2.9 million barrels of oil per day during the first half of the Iranian calendar year, which starts March 21.

According to SHANA, total Iranian crude oil production is up more than 1 million barrels per day from last year. Abdolreza Dabiri, the director of production at the NISOC, said the gains were made possible by easing international sanctions and a stronger focus on domestic capabilities, as well as a skilled workforce at home.

Economists at the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said total member state production in September, the last full month for which data are available, was 32.75 million barrels per day, an increase of 88,000 barrels per day from the previous month.

Most of September's growth came from Libya, Nigeria, Iraq and Gabon. Production from Iran, the third-largest producer behind Iraq, was 3.8 million barrels per day last month. That's about 300,000 barrels per day above last year's average, but close to 1 million barrels per day more than 2015.

The differences in calendar years may explain some of the discrepancy.

Iran's production claims are important because OPEC ministers are scheduled in Vienna later this month to consider the fate of a production agreement aimed at drawing on the surplus in the global average of crude oil inventories.

Iranian Energy Minister Bijan Zangeneh in September said some producers were "prepared for any measure aimed at ensuring oil market stability."

His comments echo sentiments expressed by Saudi Arabia in the middle of August. Officials from Riyadh said in a joint statement with Iraq it was keeping its "whatever it takes" stance on the effort to trim production until the markets reach a target level that would indicate balance.

Zangeneh said late last year, however, that most deals managed by OPEC had fallen short of design, adding there were no guarantees the production agreement would be enforced.

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