National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC)’s director of international affairs, Hojatollah Ghanimi Fard, told the state-run Mehr news agency that the production cut between 20 April and 20 May had been planned since February, despite crude prices hitting record highs in recent weeks.

“This is a seasonal decrease and we will make up for it in some time,” said Ghanimi Fard. “In the spring, demand falls because it is the time for refinery turnarounds. But this export cut is seasonal and we will make up for it after a while.”

Iran’s crude output fell to 3.98 million b/d in April, according to industry estimates.

West Texas Intermediate crude was trading at just over $133 a barrel in late trading on 27 May after hitting a new record of $135.09 on 22 May.