The reported cited figures provided to OPEC by secondary sources showing that Iranian crude oil output had reached an average of 2.4 million barrels per day in 2021, up 21% from 2020.
The figures showed that the rising trend continued into this year as output increased to 2.5 mbd in January, up 21,000 bpd against the December data.
Iranian oil output in 2021 was 10% higher than OPEC’s average production over that year, said the report.
The figures come against the backdrop of reports and official statements suggesting that Iran’s crude oil exports hit three-year highs in 2021 despite continued American pressure on the country’s energy sector.
Some industry sources have estimated that Iran’s exports rose to 1.65 million bpd in March 2021, while others believe that exports began to rise to over one million bpd for the first time in the US sanctions era in December last year.
The United States imposed sanctions on Iran’s crude exports in November 2018 after pulling out of an international accord on the country’s nuclear program.
Iranian crude sales hit rock bottom in 2019 after Washington toughened the sanctions in May that year by canceling waivers given to some major oil consumers.
The IRNA report estimated that the Iranian oil and gas sector would grow by nearly 20% in the calendar year to late March 2023.