Iran seeks raising crude production, supply

TEHRAN (ISNA)- Iran plans to increase crude production and supply after removal of sanctions imposed against the country, said Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh.

“The strategy of keeping OPEC share in global markets has failed to do well and we are going to review it,” he said.

“Can we wait and not produce after lifting the sanctions? Who can accept it in Iran,” oil minister Bijan Zangeneh told CNN in an exclusive interview. “Do you believe that … our country will accept not to produce, to secure the market for others? It’s not fair.”

Iran has the fourth biggest oil reserves in the world and is pumping about 2.8 million barrels a day, according to experts.

Analysts expect the OPEC producer to add between 600,000 and one million barrels to output once sanctions are lifted, but Zangeneh is much more optimistic.

He’s aiming for an increase of close to 1.5 million barrels by the end of 2016, taking daily production to 4.2 million.

“Around the end of next year we will be close to this figure,” he said.

Oil prices have been swinging wildly recently, slumping to new six-year lows last week before surging nearly 30% in three days. They were falling again Tuesday.

Uncertainty about the impact of China’s slowdown and the next moves in a battle for market share between OPEC and U.S. producers have been blamed for the volatility.

Some OPEC members have called for an emergency meeting to review the cartel’s November 2014 decision to keep pumping at any cost, but Saudi Arabia shows no signs of blinking.

Zangeneh said the Saudi strategy was not working, and he indicated Iran was pressing for a reassessment.

“After one year the reaction of the market and shale oil producers … shows us it has no important effect. And I think we are going to the point … to decide how to manage the market.”

He said OPEC should be targeting a price of $70 to $80 a barrel. U.S. crude futures are currently trading around $46.