Baku, Azerbaijan, July 11
By Fatih Karimov - Trend:
Preliminary exploration operations have found oil shale deposits in southeastern Iran.
Probable reserves of shale oil have been discovered in the southeastern Kerman and Semnan provinces, an informed source told official IRNA news agency on July 11.
Prior to that, shale oil deposits had been found in the western province of Lorestan, the source added.
Shale oil is unconventional oil produced from oil shale rock fragments through converting the organic matter within the rock into synthetic oil and gas.
Shale oil and gas reserves in Iran have not been yet measured exactly. Each barrel of shale oil costs $40-$80, while each barrel of crude oil costs $5-$10. So, Iran has not focused on producing shale oil and is merely discovering shale oil deposits across the country.
Once the second-largest producer in OPEC after Saudi Arabia, Iran's crude output has been reduced to about 2.8 million barrels a day, from 3.6m b/d in 2011, by EU and US sanctions aimed at reining in the country's nuclear activities. Exports stand at about 1.1m b/d, half their pre-sanctions level.