Iran’s energy sector – the mainstay of the country’s economy – has been taking hits on multiple fronts over the past 18 months, with US-led pressure on oil sales impacting both oil production and export levels.

The US’ Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently put the Islamic Republic’s crude oil exports at around 1.5mn b/d in 2012, representing its lowest levels for over 25 years. Crude output in April meanwhile fell to 2.69mn b/d, according to MEES estimates, down 23% from the 3.5mn b/d produced in January 2012, before the EU first agreed in principle to the embargo on Iranian oil. (CONTINUED - 673 WORDS)