Iran announces bogus data to cover up its loss production capabilities - expert

Business Materials 14 March 2012 18:23 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, March 14 /Trend S.Isayev/

The reason for Iran's Oil Ministry announcing bogus data regarding its natural gas and oil production is to cover up its loss of production capabilities, U.S. Northeastern University Professor Kamran Dadkhah told Trend.

A few days ago National Iranian Oil Company stated that country's average crude oil production hit 3.9 million barrels per day, and the figure is forecasted to reach 4 million barrels per day once underway development plans come on stream.

OPEC says Iran's average crude oil production is 3.42 mbpd, instead of 3.9 mbpd. Iran is OPEC's second largest oil producer and the fifth crude exporter in the world.

"For the past several years, Iran has been losing its production capacity because of lack of investment to increase production and the inability to maintain existing oil fields," Dadkhah added. "Recent sanctions on importing oil from Iran may accelerate this trend".

In February, according to OPEC, Iran's crude oil production decreased by 37,000 barrels per day compared to January.

According to the report, Iran's oil production declined to 3.424 million barrels per day in February 2012. Iran's oil output in December 2011 was 3,533 and this figure decreased to 3,461 in January 2012.

Iran claimed that some 4.5 million of liquid hydrocarbons including condensates (400,000 bpd) and crude oil (3.9 mbpd) have been produced in the current Iranian calendar year.

"In all likelihood the data reported by OPEC based on secondary sources is more accurate," Dadkhah noted. "This assertion is based on the fact that the data published by Iran's Central Bank is close to OPEC's data".

Iran shares oil and gas fields with most of its neighbors including Iraq, Kuwait and Persian Gulf littoral countries such as Qatar and Oman.

In recent years, Iran has been gradually moving towards becoming a major exporter of refined oil and petrochemical products with significant success.