EghtesadOnline: Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said on Sunday the country's oil output has increased by 165,000 barrels per day in the last 10 months compared with the corresponding period of last year.
Iran is currently pumping around 3.8 million bpd of crude oil and condensates, a type of ultra-light crude.
"Crude exports have risen by 60,000 bpd in this period," Zanganeh was quoted as saying by IRNA.
According to the oil minister, the country shipped around 777 million barrels of crude oil and 180 million barrels of condensate last year, averaging 2.62 million bpd, Financial Tribune reported.
He noted that since the termination of anti-Iran economic sanctions in January 2016, not only has the country's crude production surged by 1million per day, but its exports have also surged by 1.5 mbpd.
During the international sanctions regime, Iran's oil output and exports stood at 2.5 and 1 million per day respectively.
Pointing to West Karun oilfields in Khuzestan Province, Zanganeh said, "The massive block's output at 305,000 bpd has almost doubled in the last 10 months."
According to the oil minister, Iran is capable of increasing West Karun's production by as many as 100,000 bpd in less than a week if OPEC decides that oil prices are high enough to justify abandoning its oil-cuts accord with other producers.
"Developing joint hydrocarbon reserves tops the Oil Ministry's priority," Zanganeh said, adding that production from South Yaran, Azar oilfields and South Pars oil layer has exceeded 63,000 bpd.
Zanganeh said Iran has outpaced Qatar's natural gas extraction rate from the shared South Pars Gas Field in the Persian Gulf for the first time.
Reportedly, Qatar is pumping 480 mcm/d from the field.
Highlighting the huge leap in natural gas extraction from the giant gas field, he said extraction from the field increased from 285 million cubic meters per day in 2013 to 470 mcm/d in 2017, and currently 553 mcm/d are being injected into Iran's national gas grid per day.
Commenting on the $5 billion gas deal reached with Total S.A., Zanganeh said, "The first phase of the development plan is being implemented as scheduled, yet the company should build special platforms to increase pumping pressure, as more wells are drilled, the lower the extraction pressure.
Referring to other running phases whose pressure is declining gradually, he noted that plans are in place to introduce the same scheme in other phases, which will require an investment of $28 billion.
According to the official, of the total 24 phases, 18 are up and running, while phases 13, 22, 23, 24 and 14 are expected to come on stream in 2018.
"In lines with efforts to maintain oil production level, 20 tenders worth $5 billion will be held in the near future," he said, adding that the plan will include both onshore and offshore fields and is aimed at taking advantage of domestic expertise.
Pointing to ongoing oilfield development negotiations, he said serious talks are underway with 20 domestic and international firms whose names will be announced as soon as the contracts are finalized.
Asked about the expansion of oil and gas fields off Gilan Province in the Caspian Sea, such as Sardar-e Jangal, Zanganeh said the preliminary agreement signed with Russia's Lukoil, Norway's Offshore Resource Group and Azerbaijan's state-run oil company SOCAR facilitates technology transfer to the country.