Iran refreshes pledge to up oil exports
Iran Press TV
Sat Jan 16, 2016 4:54PM
Iran said on Saturday that it is still determined to raise its oil output by 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) as soon as the sanctions on its oil industry are lifted.
'We have not moderated our plans regarding increasing output when sanctions are lifted. It will be increased by 500,000 bpd, and by another 500,000 bpd shortly after that,' said Mehdi Assali, Iran's national representative to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
Nevertheless, Assali emphasized that Iran will proceed with the planned increases in its oil production by taking care not to push down the prices further, IRNA reported in a story that was also covered by Reuters.
The official's comments came ahead of the expected lifting of international sanctions on Iran later on Saturday as part of a landmark deal between Iran and the P5+1.
Iran's production of oil stands at around 2 million barrels per day of which it can only export about 1 million barrels based on the current regime of sanctions.
Based on a nuclear deal that Iran agreed on with the P5+1 group of countries – the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany – back in July, Iran will restrict certain aspects of its nuclear energy activities in return for the removal of certain economic sanctions.
A key part of the sanctions that are expected to be removed are those that prevent foreign investment in Iran's oil industry and also limit Iran's oil exports.
Oil prices have dropped to below $30 a barrel for the first time in 12 years with observers highlighting Iran's expected crude output hike and turmoil in Chinese markets.
On Friday, light, sweet crude for February delivery was down $1.78 to $29.42 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest since November 2003.
The global benchmark Brent dropped $1.94 to settle at $28.94 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe, the lowest settlement since February 2004.
China, the second largest oil consumer in the world, is showing dour economic signs while Iran's oil is expected to hit the market soon after international sanctions are lifted in coming days.
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