The International Energy Agency (IEA) announced on Thursday that Iran’s oil production has risen faster than expected, reaching levels not seen since before the Western sanctions against the country were tightened in 2011.
Nevertheless, the agency emphasized that a global oversupply of crude is still shrinking in face of increasing production from Iran.
The IEA said in a report that its calculations showed that Iran ramped production up by 300,000 barrels a day month-on-month in April, hitting 3.56 million barrels a day.
The Paris-based agency further emphasized that Iran’s exports increased at greater rate, with preliminary data suggesting a month-on-month rise of 600,000 barrels a day to about 2 million barrels a day.
However, the dramatic increase from 1.4 million barrels a day seen the previous month, may have been helped by loadings that spilled over from March, it added.
China was Iran’s largest customer, importing 800,000 barrels a day of crude.
The IEA further emphasized that despite the strength of Iran’s rebound, global oil markets are moving closer to balance in the second half of the year as unplanned disruption to production in countries such as Canada and Nigeria are helping to run down a global overhang of crude inventories.
Global oil stocks will diminish to 200,000 barrels a day in the last six months of the year from 1.3 million in the first half, it said.
The IEA has previously projected supply will exceed demand by an average of 1.5 million barrels a day in the first six months of 2016.