TEHRAN:- Iran said Monday its oil production capacity will hit four million barrels per day by March after it was exempted from an informal agreement among OPEC members to lower output to boost prices. "Our production capacity was 3.8 million (bpd) after the first half of the year. We will take it to 4.03 million by the end of the year" in March 2017, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said at a conference for local and international energy companies.–AFP

He added that Iran was aiming to hit 4.6 million bpd within five years.

That is up from 2.7 million bpd in January, when a nuclear deal with world powers was implemented, lifting international sanctions.

At a meeting in Algiers last month, OPEC members agreed to the first production cut in eight years, although Iran, Libya and Nigeria were allowed to continue producing at "the maximum level that makes sense".

Iran has been determined to return to its output to pre-sanctions levels, and previously blocked efforts by the oil cartel to cut production.

OPEC this week invited Russia and other key non-members to its next meeting on October 28 and 29 in Austria in a bid to boost historically low crude prices.