Iran is expected to export an additional half-million barrels a day of oil by the middle of 2016. But at current prices, Iran’s income from those sales will still fall short of revenue earned from constrained oil exports a year ago.
Moreover, low prices are making it difficult for Iran to persuade international oil companies to develop Iran’s long-neglected oil and gas fields.
“Should Iran come out of sanctions, they will face a very different market than the one they had left in 2012,” said Amos Hochstein, the State Department’s special envoy and coordinator for international energy affairs. “They were forced to recede in a world of over $100 oil, and sanctions will be lifted at $36 oil. They will have to work harder to convince companies to come in and take the risk for supporting their energy infrastructure and their energy production.”