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Iran's oil production bounces back as exports to China rise despite sanctions

Iran's oil industry was hurt by the reimposition of US sanctions in 2018, but has largely recovered since then, in part due to increased exports to China.
An oil tanker unloads imported crude oil at Qingdao port in China's eastern Shandong province on May 9, 2022. - China OUT (Photo by AFP) / China OUT (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)

Iran’s oil production reached its highest level in five years in August, according to a Thursday report, even as the country navigates US sanctions.

Reuters reported that Iranian oil production increased to 3.15 million barrels per day (bpd) this month, the highest figure since 2018.

Iran’s oil production in June of 2018 was 3.8 million bpd, according to the Joint Organizations Data Initiative, which provides data on oil and gas.

Why it matters: The report offers another indication that Iran’s oil industry is thriving in the face of US sanctions that prohibit deals with Iran’s energy industry. Former US President Donald Trump reimposed sanctions in 2018 when he withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. The decision hurt Iran’s oil industry, with oil exports falling from 2.8 million bpd in 2018 to 100,000 bpd in 2020, according to Reuters.

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