Oil output could easily be restored to pre-sanction levels: Zanganeh

August 28, 2019

TEHRAN - Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh has denied the idea of U.S. sanctions’ long-term impact on the country’s oil production and exports capacity, saying output could be back to normal very quickly once the sanctions are removed.

“In case sanctions on Iran’s oil exports are lifted, we would restore oil production to pre-sanction level in three days,” IRNA quoted Zanganeh as saying on Tuesday.
Iran has admitted that sanctions imposed in November and tightened in May have caused a significant decline in oil exports although authorities insist sales through unconventional channels have continued over the past months.
Reports earlier on Tuesday suggested that China, Iran’s main buyer of oil before the sanctions, had imported eight percent more of Iran’s crude in July this year.
Zanganeh’s comments came a day after U.S. President Donald Trump suggested that his administration would be willing to reduce the pressure of sanctions on Iran.
China imported more than 900,000 metric tons of crude oil from Iran in July, up more than 8 percent from the month before, a government report shows.
Trump’s statement after a meeting of leading economic powers in France came as Iranian authorities also signaled that there was a chance to hold talks with the U.S. if Washington lifted its sanctions on Iran.
This comes as Iran has sought to reduce its dependence on crude revenues over the past months by investing more in downstream section of the oil industry.
Zanganeh said on Tuesday that output of petrochemical products in Iran had doubled compared to 2013, adding that the country would exceed a target of 100 million tons a year of output of refined products in 2021.
EF/MA

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