Iran Says Oil Production Unaffected by Deadly Attack

(Bloomberg) -- Iran is producing oil at normal levels in spite of a deadly shooting in the crude-rich Khuzestan province, home to fields accounting for two-thirds of the Islamic Republic nation’s output, according to the Oil Ministry.

OPEC’s No. 3 producer didn’t take any extra security measures to protect energy installations around the southern city of Ahvaz where the attack took place on Saturday, Iran’s Oil Ministry said in response to questions. Ahvaz is the capital of Khuzestan province, which accounts for 67 percent of the country’s total oil production, state-run Mehr news agency reported, citing the provincial governor.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani blamed the attack on a Persian Gulf nation that is an ally of the U.S., likely referring to regional rival Saudi Arabia. Tehran already sees the kingdom as conspiring with other oil producers to steal its market share as the U.S. prepares to reimpose sanctions on Iranian oil exports. The Gulf nation’s crude production has fallen for three months as customers, anticipating the sanctions, looked for supplies elsewhere.

The shooting in Ahvaz was one of the worst militant attacks in the country’s modern history. Both Islamic State militants and an Arab group in the area claimed responsibility. Oil fields in the region include North and South Azadegan and North and South Yaran, deposits shared with Iraq, and Yadavaran, according to information on the National Iranian Oil Co.’s website.

Iran produced 3.5 million barrels of oil a day in August, its lowest output since May 2016, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Saudi Arabia is the biggest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, followed by Iraq and Iran.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.