Source: Press TV
Deputy Iranian Oil Minister Rokneddin Javadi
Deputy Oil Minister Rokneddin Javadi says Iran's oil exports could return to the pre-sanctions level over a period of three or four months.
Talking to IRNA in Kuala Lumpur, the official said Iran must ramp up production to four million barrels per day, of which 2.3 million to 2.5 million bdp would go to exports.
"We hope we can raise exports to about 2 million bpd in a space of three to four months after sanctions are eliminated."
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said sanctions would be lifted right after a nuclear agreement went into effect. The US contends the embargo will be removed gradually.
Greece and Spain were leading customers of the Iranian crude oil in Europe before they stopped purchases under intensified sanctions.
Sri Lanka used to meet 90% of its demand for oil from Iran as its refineries are compatible with processing the Iranian crude but the country had to halt supplies under US pressures.
Malaysia and South Africa similarly had to stop purchases from Iran.
Another official meanwhile said Asia will remain Iran's prime market for exports of oil if sanctions on the country are lifted even as Tehran is ready to resume shipments to Europe.
Head of the international affairs at the National Iranian Oil Company Mohsen Qamsari said Iran is able to immediately resume oil sales to Europe once the sanctions are removed.
"Although we are after selling Iran's oil in all markets, Asia will remain our main market for crude exports after the sanctions are lifted," IRNA quoted him as saying.
China, India, Turkey, Japan and South Korea continue buying oil from Iran after Europe stopped imports under intensified sanctions.
The Europeans hope to resume trade once ongoing nuclear negotiations with Iran bear fruit.
Qamsari said Iran is able to revive immediately half of its pre-sanctions market in Europe.
"It's possible to sell oil cargoes under short- and medium-term arrangements and obtain the control of a significant portion of the European oil market.
"However, returning to the export levels before sanctions depends on the Europeans' level of readiness to accept Iran's oil," he said.
The official said oil refiners typically have annual contracts and have to wait for some time in order to clinch new import deals.
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