Iran Oil Ministry Plans to Raise Oil Production Capacity
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran's new oil minister said the top priority of his ministry is to raise the country's "oil production capacity" to 4 million barrels a day.
“As I had earlier mentioned, we are not going to increase (our) oil production, but are planning to increase our (oil) production capacity,” and that in the the current circumstances " this is the best path for the oil industry," Oil Minister, Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, said in a meeting with reporters after the first meeting of the new cabinet Sunday evening.
On Friday Zanganeh was quoted by some media as saying that the country's crude oil production must top four million barrels a day, “mainly through enhanced oil recovery techniques."
“Increasing Iran’s oil output will boost (the country’s) bargaining power in international bodies, like OPEC, so the oil production capacity must increase immediately to above four million bpd by the end of the current (Iranian) year (ending on March 21, 2014),” Zanganeh was qouted as saying.
He said a committee will also be set up to study the sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic and find ways to increase Iran’s oil exports.
Days before he was approved by parliament as minister on Thursday, Zanganeh had said his top priority would be to bring the country’s oil production capacity back to 2005 levels.
With 137.6 billion barrels of proven reserves, Iran has the world's fourth largest crude deposits. In terms of gas reserves, it is second only to Russia, with reserves estimated at 29.61 trillion cubic meters (tcm).
On January 23, 2012, under US pressure, the EU approved a round of sanctions against Iran’s oil and financial sectors. The sanctions prevent EU countries from purchasing Iran’s oil, or offering insurance coverage to tankers carrying Iranian crude, and have been effective as of July 1, 2012.
The United States and the European Union have imposed illegal unilateral sanctions against Iran over the false claim that Iran's nuclear energy program may include a military component.
Iran rejects the allegation, arguing that numerous inspections of its nuclear sites by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have invariably failed to find any diversion towards military purposes.
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani last Monday dismissed western countries' logic behind imposing unilateral sanctions on Tehran as "improper approach to resolve a problem".