Iran's crude oil output will reach 3.4 million barrels per day (bpd) by the end of September, the country's oil minister was quoted as saying on Wednesday, despite US sanctions remaining in place.
"Our current crude oil production is 3.3 million barrels per day and by the end of September this amount will increase to 3.4 million," Javad Owji said.
The increase in crude production coincides with a steady rise in Iran’s exports. TankerTrackers.com that monitors global oil shipments, reported Monday that in the initial 20 days of August, Iran dispatched an average of over two million barrels of oil daily, marking a more than 30-percent surge compared to the past few months.
In 2018, then-US President Donald Trump exited the JCPOA nuclear agreement and re-imposed sanctions on Tehran, whose crude oil output dropped to 2.4 million barrels per day on average in 2021.
However, Iranian oil shipments began to pick up toward the end of 2020, as candidate Joe Biden announced in September of that year his intention to revive the 2015 JCPOA. During 18 months of talks with Iran in 2021 and 2022, Tehran steadily increased its oil shipments and uranium enrichment.
The latest boost in production and exports also coincides with an agreement announced in mid-August that the United States allowed the release of $6 billion of Iran’s money frozen in South Korean banks in exchange for five American hostages. Some believe that a larger secret deal exists with Tehran over its nuclear program and the Biden administration is not enforcing sanctions.
Earlier this month, Iran announced its oil exports had surpassed 1.4 million barrels per day, primarily driven by sales to China.