Iran prepares to extend oil exports when sanctions ease: state media

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A gas flare on an oil drilling platform is seen next to an Iranian flag in the Gulf

(Reuters) – Iran has ordered its oil ministry to prepare facilities for production and sales at full capacity within three months, state media said on Sunday, before US sanctions may be eased after President-elect Joe Biden took office will.

They quoted President Hassan Rouhani as saying that Iran exported more than two million barrels a day before US President Donald Trump ended the 2015 six-power nuclear deal in 2018 and imposed sanctions that hit the Iranian economy hard by slashing their vital oil exports.

US President-elect Joe Biden, who will take office on Jan. 20, said he would return to the pact and lift sanctions if Tehran returned to "strictly adhering to the nuclear deal".

Rouhani said on Sunday his country was preparing to rapidly increase its oil production, the official IRNA news agency reported.

"The Ministry of Oil will take all necessary steps to prepare the oil industry's facilities for production and sale – in proportion to the available capacity – within the next three months," IRNA quoted Rouhani as saying.

It is estimated that Iran exports less than 300,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd), compared to a high of 2.8 million bpd in 2018.

([email protected]; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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