DUBAI - Iran is determined to develop its oil industry in spite of US sanctions imposed on the country, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said in a televised speech on Saturday.
"We will not surrender under any circumstances ... We have to increase our capacity so that when necessary with full strength we can enter the market and revive our market share," said Zanganeh.
The minister was speaking before the signing of a $294-million contract between the National Iranian Oil Company and Persia Oil & Gas, an Iranian firm, to develop the Yaran oilfield that is shared with neighboring Iraq's Majnoon field.
The agreement aims to produce 39.5 million barrels of oil from the Yaran oilfield in Khuzestan province in southwestern Iran, the Iranian Oil Ministry's news agency SHANA said.
Hit by reimposed US sanctions since Washington exited Iran's 2015 nuclear deal in 2018, Iran's oil exports are estimated at 100,000 to 200,000 barrels per day, down from more than 2.5 million bpd that Iran shipped in April 2018.
The Islamic Republic's crude production has halved to around 2 million bpd
The US in late June imposed sanctions on five Iranian ship captains who delivered oil to Venezuela, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reaffirmed Washington's backing for Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido.The Pentagon estimates that a move by Iranian oil tankers to Venezuela despite sanctions could lead to a military clash between the US and Iran.