Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct.9/ Trend G.Mehdi/
Iran is the only country in the world which has the potential to supply crude oil to international markets for as much as 150 years, the former oil minister Masoud Mirkazemi said, Fars reported.
Given the country's proven oil reserves at 154.5 billion barrels and provided that the annual oil production remain steady at 4 million barrels per day, the country can export oil for the next 150 years, he added.
Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi has said that the country's oil output is projected to increase by 1.5 million bpd by 2016.
All development plans related to joint oil and gas fields will by finalized by the end of the first half of the current Iranian calendar year (September 21), he added.
In July, Qasemi announced that new oil reserves of up to 6 billion barrels have been discovered in southwestern Iran.
With the new oil discovery, Iran's oil reserves stand at about 160 billion barrels.
On September 2, Mohammad-Ali Khatibi, who is Iran's OPEC governor and the director of the National Iranian Oil Company, said Iran's oil exports are at their normal level and are unaffected by Western embargoes.
In July, Qasemi said that although the West has imposed sanctions on Iran's oil sector with the goal of toppling the Islamic establishment, the country's oil exports will never be halted because oil consuming countries need Iranian crude.
"There are many ways to easily sell oil, one of which is to take advantage of businessmen and the private sector," Qasemi said.
At the beginning of 2012, the United States and the European Union imposed new sanctions on Iran's oil and financial sectors with the goal of preventing other countries from purchasing Iranian oil and conducting transactions with the Central Bank of Iran.
U.S. sanctions entered into force on June 28, while EU bans on Iranian oil imports came into force on July 1.
Iran's oil export declined from 2.3 mbpd in 2011 to 2 mbpd in the first quarter of 2012, to 1.5 mbpd in second quarter and below 1 mbpd in third quarter of current year.
Country's oil crude export has increased to 1.2 mbpd in September due to restarting Iranian oil purchase by Turkey and South Korea.
According to the U.S. Treasury Department Iran loses $5 bln per month because of cuts in oil export volume.
Oil provides about 50 percent of Iran government's revenues. Regarding country's exports, about 80 percent of it consists of oil exports.