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Tue 30 Oct 2007 09:56 AM

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Iran targets $70bn in oil exports

World's number four crude producer received around $35bn in first half of year, state oil official says.

Iran, the world's number four crude producer, is aiming for oil export revenues of about $70 billion in the year to March, after it received about $35 billion in the first half of the year, an Iranian oil official said on Monday.

Iran earned about $60 billion the previous year, Mohammad Ali Khatibi, deputy head of marketing at state-owned National Iranian Oil Company, was quoted by state television as saying.

Iran, like other oil producers, has benefitted from windfall earnings as crude prices have leapt. US crude hit a record above $93 a barrel on Monday, although Iranian crudes tend to trade at a discount of several dollars below the international benchmark.

"Crude oil and oil product export revenues in the first half of the current year was about $34.7 billion and we hope it reaches to about $70 billion by the end of the year," Khatibi said. The Iranian year runs to March.

Iran, the second biggest producer in the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, produces about 4 million barrels of oil a day.

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