DUBAI Jan 3 A rise in Iran's crude oil exports
once sanctions against it are lifted depends on future global
oil demand and that should not further weaken oil prices, a
senior Iranian oil official was quoted as saying.
Oil prices are likely to come under further pressure this
year, when international sanctions on Iran are due to be removed
under a nuclear deal reached in July. Brent crude
settled at $37.28 a barrel on Thursday.
Iran has repeatedly said it plans to raise oil output by
500,000 barrels per day post sanctions, and another 500,000 bpd
shortly after that, to reclaim its position as the Organization
of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' second-largest producer.
"The decision on the amount of exports highly depends on the
future condition of the market. We will raise our market quota
steadily," said Mohsen Qamsari, director general for
international affairs of the National Iranian Oil Company
"We will adjust our output to the global market's demand,"
he told Iran's oil ministry news agency Shana on Saturday.
"We will exercise great caution to prevent a further decline
in international prices and will adopt certain methods and
strategies to this end," he added, without elaborating.
Oil prices fell as much as 35 percent for 2015 after a race
to pump by Middle East crude producers and U.S. shale oil
drillers created an unprecedented global glut that may take
through 2016 to clear.
The sanctions have halved Iran's oil exports to around 1.1
million bpd from a pre-2012 level of 2.5 million bpd, and the
loss of oil income has hampered investments.
Qamsari said Iran would be looking to export its crude to
Asia and Europe giving examples of China and India as potential
buyers post sanctions. Another possibility would be buying
stakes in refineries abroad, he said.
"One of the methods to ensure the country's oil sale is
buying refineries in other countries but this has to be approved
by the administration and the parliament," said Qamsari.
"This is a method that countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait,
UAE, the U.S., China and leading oil giants like Royal Dutch
Shell and BP have adopted and we should not stay behind them in
(Reporting by Rania El Gamal, editing by William Hardy)