Iranian Official: Iran to earn $70bn from oil

Iran's deputy oil minister said his country will earn almost $70 billion from crude exports for the Iranian calendar year ending March 20 despite falling oil prices. Akbar Torkan said Iran expects to earn $2 billion more than it did during the previous 12-month period ending in March 2008, according to Monday's state radio report. Torkan said the average price for Iranian oil has been about $80 per barrel over the past 11 months. Iranian officials have voiced concern about falling oil prices, which have plummeted to $40 a barrel since mid-July highs of nearly $150. That fall has squeezed Iran, which relies on oil revenue for about 80 percent of its government budget. With output of 4.2 million barrels of oil per day, Iran is OPEC's second largest oil producer.