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Iran says oil production back to pre-Trump maximum pressure sanctions levels

Output restored to pre-2018 level of 3.8 million barrels per day, official says, noting Raisi’s decision to invest $500 million to restore facilities and increase production

A part of Pardis petrochemical complex facilities in Assalouyeh on the northern coast of the Persian Gulf, Iran, Sept. 4, 2018. (Iranian Presidency Office via AP)
A part of Pardis petrochemical complex facilities in Assalouyeh on the northern coast of the Persian Gulf, Iran, Sept. 4, 2018. (Iranian Presidency Office via AP)

TEHRAN — Iran’s oil production capacity has returned to the same level as prior to the reimposition of sanctions in 2018, when the US unilaterally withdrew from a nuclear deal, a top official said.

“Oil production has reached pre-sanctions figures, despite economic pressures,” said Mohsen Khojastehmehr, CEO of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), quoted by state news agency IRNA on Sunday.

Iran is currently engaged in negotiations to restore the 2015 nuclear deal that would grant it much-needed sanctions relief, restoring Iranian oil exports, in return for major curbs on its nuclear program.

The US, under then president Donald Trump, unilaterally withdrew from the deal in 2018 and reimposed stringent sanctions, prompting Iran to begin rolling back on its commitments under the deal the following year.

Output has been restored to the pre-sanctions level of 3.8 million barrels per day (bpd), Khojastehmehr said, after it had sharply declined following the reimposition of sanctions.

“We are now in a position to double our exports,” the official said. “In terms of energy security, the Islamic Republic is capable of achieving stability on the international scene.”

TV cameras in front of the ‘Grand Hotel Vienna,’ where closed-door nuclear talks take place in Vienna, Austria, on June 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Florian Schroetter)

President Ebrahim Raisi’s government invested $500 million to restore facilities and increase production to pre-sanctions levels within six months, he added.

Oil Minister Javad Owji said Friday that oil revenues for the last Iranian calendar year, which came to a close on March 20, registered $18 billion, about 2.5 times more than the previous year.

In a monthly report, the OPEC group of oil-producing countries estimated that Iran produced 2.54 bpd of oil in February.

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