Iran said Monday, December 19, that its crude production has dropped due to lack of investment in its oil fields, as it faces the West’s toughest ever sanctions over its nuclear program, Reuters
reported. “Compared to last year there was an insignificant drop in our crude production due to lack of investment in developing oil fields,” Deputy Oil Minister Ahmad Qalebani was quoted as saying by the student ISNA news agency. Oil production, which has dropped 10 percent since 2008, continues to shrink with November output this year put at 3.5 million barrels per day according to OPEC. Lacking options, Tehran has recently announced it is suspending several non-essential projects. And even ones deemed priorities, such as the development of the giant South Pars gas field in the Gulf, are running behind schedule. Foreign “investment isn’t coming any more, or very little is, because of the hostile moves” by the West, Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi said in November. As a result, Iran has increasingly turned to its domestic market for capital, with varied success.