Iran deputy oil minister denies central bank report on crude output cut

Azerbaijan, Baku, Apr. 20/ Trend F.Milad/

The Iranian deputy oil minister has rejected the central bank's report denoting that the country's crude oil output has declined by some 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) in the past calendar year.

Ahmad Qalebani, who is also the head of the National Iranian Oil Company, told reporters that the output decreased just around 28,000bpd, adding that Iran's crude oil production capacity stands at 4.2 million bpd at present, the Mehr news agency reported.

He also disapproved of the OPEC data which showed that Iran's crude oil production fell to 3.5 million bpd, saying that last year, the country exported 2.3 million bpd crude oil on average.

Iran Oil Ministry has approved a $22.8 billion budget for developing different phases of the South Pars gas field in the current calendar year which began on March 20, Pana news agency reported.

In 2009, Iran said that the development of the remaining phases of South Pars required investment of $40 billion over 10 years.

The South Pars gas field is shared by Iran and Qatar. The Iranian share which is divided into 29 phases has about 14 trillion cubic meters of gas, or about eight per cent of the total world reserves and more than 18 billion barrels of liquefied natural gas resources.

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