TEHRAN – Iran will increase its crude oil output to 5.7 million barrels per day (mbpd) by the end of Iranian calendar year 1397 (March 2019), MP Ali Marvi says, quoting Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh.
According to Zanganeh, Iran’s natural gas output will also increase to one billion cubic meters per day, IRNA quoted Marvi as saying on Saturday.
The country’s crude oil and natural gas outputs are currently around 3.8 million barrels per day and 300 million cubic meters per day, respectively.
On April 6, Zanganeh said Iran forecasts an increase in its crude oil and natural gas production in the current Iranian calendar year 1393, which began on March 21.
“Iran’s crude oil output is forecast to increase by about 200,000 barrels per day to 4 million barrels per day, and its daily natural gas output is forecast to increase by about 100 million cubic meters per day to 400 million cubic meters per day,” the minister explained.
The country is currently exporting about 1.2 million barrels per day of oil and has earmarked 1.5 million barrels of daily sales in the national budget for the year 1393, which includes 300,000 barrels of condensates, he added.
***** Importing gasoline economically justified
The oil minister is of the opinion that importing gasoline is economically justified under the current circumstances, another MP, Mousa Ahmadi, said.
Based on local media reports, gasoline consumption hit all-time record high of 100.7 million liters in Iran on April 1.
Gasoline consumption reached 70 million liters per day on the average in the past Iranian calendar year, which ended on March 20.
On March 5, the director of the National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company said Iran will triple gasoline imports in the current Iranian calendar year as domestic petrochemical units have stopped gasoline production.
Mostafa Kashkouli added that 10-11 million liters of gasoline will be imported per day in the current year.
According to estimates by BP, Iran sits on the world’s largest gas reserves.
Iranian energy officials have boasted for years about becoming a top gas exporter soon.
Thawing relations with the West since President Hassan Rouhani came to power in mid-2013 have revived hopes that Iran may one day help meet growing gas demand around the world.
But slow progress in developing those reserves over the last decade has stunted gas exports. Meanwhile, domestic consumption is surging as the gas network has grown and more gas is needed to sustain output from ageing oilfields.