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Iran’s crude-oil exports increase to level last seen in 1970s

exports tumbled in 2011 as international sanctions targeted its oil industry

Gulf News

Tehran

Iran’s crude-oil exports touched 3 million barrels a day for the first time since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

That level, lasting just one day, was reached in the current Iranian month that began February 19, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said, according to state news agency IRNA.

The Islamic Republic’s exports tumbled in 2011 as international sanctions targeted its oil industry, cutting production. Since restrictions ended in January 2016, Iran has recovered quickly, raising output near pre-sanctions levels of about 4 million barrels a day. It’s targeting 5 million a day by 2021 with the help of foreign investors, though none has yet signed a definitive contract.

Iran’s crude exports have averaged 2.45 million barrels a day since February 19, Bloomberg tanker-tracking data show.

The country in November won an exemption from output cuts agreed on by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, saying it was still recovering from sanctions. Production exceeded 6 million barrels a day in the 1970s, before the Islamic Revolution drove away western investors and prompted a long confrontation with the US.

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