Iran may discover onshore gas reserves near Caspian Sea

Baku, Azerbaijan, March 16

By Rahim Zamanov - Trend:

New studies show that Iran may discover new gas reserves in northeast of the country, Yousef Etemadi, an official with the Khazar Exploration and Production Company (KEPCO), said on March 16, Iran's IRNA News Agency reported.

"The reserves may be located at the border line between Iran's Golestan province and Turkmenistan," he explained.

Iranian Fars News Agency reported on March 11 that the country discovered four new oil and gas fields.

However the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) rejected the report, Iran's IRIB News Agency reported on March 12.

The Public Relations Department of NIOC issued a statement on March 12, saying that any possible discovery of new oil and gas reserves will be announced by the ministry itself.

Fars News Agency's report said the discovered fields are located in the western, southern and central parts of the country.

"It is not still clear whether the fields are jointly owned with any other neighbouring country, but it is estimated that the southern and western fields are joint fields. The oil reserves of the newly discovered fields are estimated at two billion barrels. It is said that the oil is of the highest quality," according to the report.

Fars News Agency claimed that the new discoveries have increased Iran's oil reserves to 160 billion barrels.

National Iranian Oil Company's director for exploration affairs, Hormoz Felavand, said on March 5 that Iran plans to increase its production up to five million barrels of oil per day and 1.4 billion cubic meters of natural gas per day, Iranian Mehr News Agency reported.

"If the country reaches and keeps the mentioned amounts, and in case of no new discovery, Iran's oil and gas reserves would last for 70 years," he explained.

"The oil reserves of most countries except for Iran and Saudi Arabia would be finished by then," Felavand added.

Iran holds the world's third-largest proven oil reserves and the largest natural gas reserves. The country's total in-place oil reserves have been estimated at more than 560 billion barrels, with about 140 billion barrels of extractable oil.

Moreover, heavy and extra heavy varieties of crude oil account for roughly 70-100 billion barrels of the total reserves.

Iran's gas reserves have been estimated at 33.6 trillion cubic meters.

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