Hard for Iran to ramp up oil exports: IEA

MOSCOW Mon Nov 25, 2013 4:21am EST

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - It would be difficult for Iran to revive its oil output to former levels quickly even if international restrictions on its exports are lifted, International Energy Agency (IEA) head Maria van der Hoeven said on Monday.

Van der Hoeven was speaking to reporters in Moscow after Iran and six world powers reached a deal on Sunday to curb Tehran's nuclear program in exchange for limited relief on sanctions.

"If some oil sanctions relief will happen ... it's unlikely that Iran would be able to jump back to pre-sanctions levels immediately," van der Hoeven said, whose agency monitors oil markets on behalf of developed economies.

The deal struck in Geneva leaves U.S. and European oil sanctions in place for six months, but an easing of a ban on European shipping insurance may ease crude exports to the OPEC member state's big Asian customers.

Van der Hoeven declined to comment when questioned about Iran's access to shipping insurance for oil export cargoes.

The U.S. and EU sanctions have slashed Iran's oil exports to around 1 million barrels per day (bpd) from 2.5 million bpd before they were imposed.

(Reporting by Katya Golubkova; Editing by Douglas Busvine and Jane Baird)

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