[TEHRAN] Iran hopes by early next year to boost its natural gas production to Qatar's level, Iranian oil minister Bijan Zanganeh told an energy conference on Monday.
He said Iran's priority was developing the giant South Pars gas field which it shares with Qatar, as well as shared oil fields.
Iran plans to increase its crude oil production to 4 million barrels per day in 2019 and 4.28 million bpd in 2020, while boosting condensate output to 1 million bpd as early as 2018, Zanganeh told the conference. Crude output is currently 3.8 million bpd and condensate output 688,000 bpd, he said.
The minister also said new oil and gas contracts for international and domestic companies would focus on enhancing rates of oil recovery.
Earlier in the day, the managing director of the National Iranian Oil Company, Ali Kardor, said Iran expected to tender the new contracts by the end of November. He gave a marginally different figure for current oil production, of 3.9 million bpd. REUTERS