Iran is set to reach its production target of 4 million barrels a day (b/d) mid-April and aims to raise crude output to 4.7 million b/d by 2022, according to the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) managing director Ali Kardor.

The Opec producer would need to drill at least 500 wells to meet the 2022 target, he added in comments reported by Shana, the Iranian Petroleum Ministry’s news agency.

Iran has been aiming to reach its pre-sanctions level of more than 4 million b/d since nuclear-related sanctions were lifted in January 2016.

The Islamic republic’s sixth five-year development plan will begin implementation by March, added Kardor.

Iran is seeking foreign investment across its aging energy infrastructure and has pre-qualified international energy companies to bid on its oil and gas fields.

“Many of the rigs are outdated and cannot ensure realisation of the development plan’s purposes, therefore NIOC would welcome importing state-of-the-art rigs to the country,” said Kardor.