Iran’s oil output: 3.7 mb/d or 4 mb/d?
Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 11
By Dalga Khatinoglu – Trend:
While Iranian officials have repeatedly said that Iran produces about 4 million barrels per day (mb/d) of oil, it seems the mentioned figure is the country’s output capacity, not actual production.
According to a latest report of the US Energy Information Administration, Iran’s crude oil output increased from 3.03 mb/d in 1Q16 to 3.7 mb/d in 4Q16, while the average output was 3.45 mb/d in 2016.
OPEC’s statistics also indicate that the country’s oil production reached 3.72 mb/d in December, while the average of year stood at 3.499 mb/d.
Under the oil cut deal, achieved on November 30, 2016, Iran is allowed to increase its oil output by 90,000 b/d to 3.979 mb/d in 1H17.
However, it is very hard to calculate Iran’s output from its consumption, storage and export volumes, because Iran has more than 50 million barrels of unsold oil stored on tankers and in underground facilities.
In March-December 2016, Iran consumed 1.67 mb/d of crude oil. By the way, Iran produced 560,000 barrels of gas condensate, of which 160,000 b/d was consumed domestically and 400,000 b/d was exported during March-December 2016, according to official statistics.
Therefore, there is zero probability that Iran blends the produced gas condensate with crude oil to push up the crude oil output numbers.
On the other hand, Iran says it increased the oil output from West Karoon block to about 240,000 b/d, but according to an official document seen by Trend, its actual output is less than half of the mentioned volume, but potentially Iran can produce the announced volume after opening wells and stretching a pipeline from the block to export terminals.
It seems Iran’s claimed 4 mb/d output is only potential production, not the actual one.