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The western province of Lorestan will be getting new attention from the Iranian oil ministry following the discovery of major shale oil reserves in the region, according to new reports emerging from the area.
The resources, found in the Ghali Koh field, totaled two billion barrels, Bahman Soleimani, the National Iranian Oil Company’s Soleimani said on Monday, citing a recent study. “The oil is light,” he described.
Other research on the area’s shale gas reserves will be completed by October 2017, the official added.
Iran’s proven oil reserves – 160 billion barrels – amount to ten percent of the world’s total. But the development of the nation’s oil and gas sector was stunted due to six years of international sanctions that isolated Tehran from global energy markets. Since centrist President Hassan Rouhani struck a deal with Western powers regarding the terms of its nuclear program, the national government has recovered production to pre-sanctions levels at roughly 4 million barrels per day.
A couple of weeks ago, after Iran tested a ballistic missile in a northern desert, newly inaugurated U.S. President Donald Trump imposed sanctions on individuals associated with the program producing non-nuclear rockets capable of reaching Israel, as well as the United States. The sanctions, so far, have not affected oil production.
Related: Iran And North Korea: Is The Geopolitical Risk Premium Back?
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) did not grant Iran, its third largest producer, an exemption from recent production cuts. Still, the country’s barrel limit leaves ample room for strong government revenues as oil prices rebound from a 2.5-year slump.
“We were due to reach 4 million barrels ...by the end of the fiscal year [on March 21st]. This will be realized with a one-month delay,” Deputy Oil Minister Ali Kardor said, according to the Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA).
By 2022, the NIOC plans to up output to 4.7 million bpd.
By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com
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Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…