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Iran has struck new crude oil reserves totaling 15 billion barrels of which 2 billion barrels are recoverable, according to the managing director of the National Iranian Oil Company Ali Kardor. Along with the crude, there were 1.8 trillion cu m of natural gas in the new deposits, details of whose location were not divulged. Half of this was recoverable, Kardor also said, as quoted by local media.
The exploitation of these newly found reserves would require massive investments and modern technology, which Iran does not have at the moment. The discoveries are likely to lead to more tenders targeting international oil companies, which have the technology to tap them.
This could turn tricky if the U.S. decides to impose more sanctions against Tehran, after last week the Trump administration slammed the country with fresh sanctions against individuals and entities linked to the special forces of Iran’s army, the Revolutionary Guards. The sanctions followed non-nuclear ballistic missile testing in Iran and were seen by senior U.S. defense officials as the first move in a campaign aimed at deterring Iran from expanding its military capabilities.
Tehran responded with a warning that it would use the missiles it has if it its security is thought to have been threatened. “If we see smallest misstep from the enemies, our roaring missiles will fall on their heads,” the Revolutionary Guards’ chief, Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, was quoted as saying by Iranian media.
Related: Oil Prices Fall On Glut Fears Despite Tighter Market
Although Defense Secretary James Mattis dismissed the possibility of a quick escalation between the U.S. and Iran, saying Washington would not increase the number of U.S. troops in the Middle East, worries remain about how the situation will unfold, pushing up crude oil prices.
One thing that has not happened yet, however, as Bloomberg notes, is Iran’s conservatives succeeding in pushing the government to scrap the 2015 deal with Western powers, which resulted in the lifting of most of the sanctions against Iran. The country’s reformist government seems to have opted for patience in its relations with the new U.S. administration.
By Irina Slav of Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for the U.S.-based Divergente LLC consulting firm with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.