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DUBAI, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Iran will officially notify producer group OPEC in December of its plans to raise its crude oil output by 500,000 barrels per day (bpd), the Iranian oil minister said on Saturday.
“We...ask them to respect the 30-million-barrel ceiling which they have agreed,” Bijan Zanganeh was quoted as saying by Shana, the ministry’s news agency. “Iran is prepared to supply at least 500,000 bpd of crude oil to global markets,” he added.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will meet in Vienna in early December. OPEC is pumping close to a record high as major producers focus on defending market share. This has added to amply supplies, which have helped cut prices by more than half from June 2014 to below $50 a barrel.
Under a deal reached with six major powers in July, Iran agreed to curb its nuclear programme in exchange for an end to economic sanctions imposed on the country in 2012 over its disputed nuclear work.
The country’s oil production is down one million bpd since the start of 2012 at 2.7 million bpd, depriving it of billions of dollars in oil revenue.
Iran has repeatedly said it will ramp up crude oil production and reclaim its lost share of exports shortly after international sanctions are lifted.
The OPEC member aims to raise oil output by 500,000 bpd as soon as sanctions are lifted in early 2016 and by one million bpd in March.
The Iranian oil minister said Asian markets would be Iran’s priority for selling oil after sanctions are removed.
“If we cannot sell our oil is Asia, Tehran will also consider European and South African markets,” Zanganeh was quoted as saying by Shana.
Zanganeh said he did not expect Iran’s oil output rise by 500,000 bpd would have any effect on the oil price.
Reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin; Editing by Toby Chopra and Susan Thomas