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Though prices for Brent and WTI had edged above $30/B as MEES went to press, the market remains resolutely bearish having hit 12-year lows of just above $27/B earlier this week.
Following the lifting of the bulk of international sanctions on Iran on 16 January, market watchers have ramped up estimates of by how much and how quickly Iran can ramp up production and exports.
MEES estimates that Iran produced 2.89mn b/d in December, little changed from average 2014 and 2015 levels but 700,000 b/d down on 3.6mn b/d 2011 volumes. Exports last year remained rangebound at 1.0-1.3mn b/d and if anything trended toward the bottom of this range in recent months. They were around 2.5mn b/d (including condensate) in 2011, indicating plenty of room for potential gains (see chart, p19).
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