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'Iran still second biggest producer in OPEC': Official

Source: Tehran Times

Iran is still the second biggest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Iran's OPEC Governor Mohammad-Ali Khatibi stated.

He rejected some news published by western media claiming that Iraq has replaced Iran as the second major crude producer in OPEC, the ISNA news agency reported.

On August 12, Platts quoted Iraq's deputy prime minister and former oil minister Hussein al-Shahristani as saying that Iraqi output had risen about 3.2 million barrels per day (bpd) and was now higher than that of Iran, Kuwait and the UAE.

OPEC boosted crude production last month as Angola, Nigeria and Libya pumped more, the group said on September 11.

Output from OPEC, which supplies 40 percent of the world's oil, climbed to 31.41 million barrels a day in August versus 31.16 million the previous month, OPEC's Vienna-based secretariat said in its Monthly Oil Market Report. The production level remains above a 30 million barrel target that the group set at a meeting in December.

Saudi Arabia, the world's largest crude exporter, pumped 9.86 million barrels in August versus 9.85 million in July, OPEC said, citing secondary sources. The kingdom also provided data to OPEC, which showed production at 9.75 million.

A European Union ban on imports of Iranian oil came into full effect in July.

OPEC's 12 members are Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela.

On July 4, Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi announced that new oil reserves of up to 6 billion barrels have been discovered in southwestern Iran.

The reserves are located around the Yadavaran oilfield in Khuzestan Province. With the new oil discovery, Iran's oil reserves stand at about 160 billion barrels.

Turkey's Iranian oil buying jump denied

Khatibi also denied the news claiming that Turkey's imports of Iranian crude oil increased to 200,000 barrels per day in August from around 50,000 bpd.

"The data released by Reuters was not correct at all. The release of the data was politically-motivated. Its statistics on decrease or increase in oil exports are completely wrong," he added, the ISNA news agency reported.

"Iran's oil export is running at a fixed level. [They] want to make the issue sensitive. Any data indicating exports have been increased by fourfold or decreased to one fourth is incorrect," he added.

On September 4, Reuters reported that Turkish imports of Iranian crude oil surpassed Turkey's 2011 average of 180,000 bpd in August.

Around 200,000 bpd of Iranian crude oil were discharged at the import terminals Aliaga and Tutunciflik for Turkey's sole refiner Tupras, the report added.

... Payvand News - 09/15/12 ... --

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