Figures by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries showed that Iranian oil production has reached an average of 2.564 million barrels per day (mbd) in April, an increase of 1.4% against figures reported in the January-March quarter and up 7.2% against the similar quarter in 2021, Press TV reported.
The figures are consistent with reports in recent months suggesting that Iran has been selling more crude despite direct American sanctions targeting the country's exports.
Government authorities have indicated that Iranian oil exports reached an average of 1.6 million bpd in late 2021 and remained at the same levels in the first quarter this year.
China has been the dominant buyer of Iranian crude in recent months although some reports have suggested that Iranian crude exports to China declined in April by as much as 256,000 bpd as Russian shipments to East Asia increased after Western countries imposed sanctions on Moscow because of the war in Ukraine.
Citing the new OPEC figures, Iran’s official IRNA news agency said the figures prove reports about dwindling Iranian oil exports to China were wrong.
The report said that Iran’s domestic consumption of crude was flat in April, meaning that export figures had remained unchanged over that month.
It added that increased oil output in April as reported by OPEC means that Iran had either sold more crude to China or it had found a new market for its oil.