Iran can compensate for Iraq’s loss of oil supply

Baku, Azerbaijan, June 21

By Fatih Karimov - Trend:

Iran can compensate for Iraq's loss of oil supply to the international market.

Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said Iran enjoys the capacity to compensate for Iraq's loss of oil supply, but U.S. sanctions have prevented the country from using its maximum capacity to produce and supply crude oil, Iran's IRNA news agency reported on June 21.

Aside from recent developments in Iraq, Iran has always tried to keep supplying oil to the market, he added.

Iraq is the second-largest producer in OPEC and its northern exports have been offline since March. OPEC output has also been hit by unrest in Libya, sanctions on Iran and oil theft in Nigeria.

"Within OPEC, Iraq remains the main source of most of the expected capacity growth, but this expansion looks increasingly at risk," Maria van der Hoeven, the IEA's executive director, wrote in a report.

Van der Hoeven said that the latest violence in Iraq had not cut its supply, although the agency was keeping an eye on developments there.

"We will continue to monitor the situation closely and keep in close touch with our members, ready to respond in the event of a major disruption in physical supplies of oil," she said.

It last tapped the stocks in 2011 during the Libyan war.

In the report, the IEA cut its estimate of Iraq's oil production capacity growth by 470,000 bpd, and now expects capacity to reach 4.54 million bpd by 2019 - much lower than the Iraqi government's plan of up to 9 million bpd by 2020.

Iran's oil output could reach 4 million barrels per day in "less than three months" if Western sanctions are lifted over its nuclear energy programme, Zanganeh said earlier this month.

"After lifting the sanctions, (in) less than three months we can produce four million barrels of oil per day," Zanganeh told reporters upon his arrival in Vienna on the eve of an OPEC output meeting.

That compares with Iran's current production of approximately 2.7 million bpd, according to OPEC data which cites secondary sources.

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