Iran has found a dozen new oil fields that could produce 30 billion barrels of crude and 128 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, according to Press TV quoting officials in Tehran.
“We have to say goodbye to (finding) such big fields as Yadavaran and Azadegan and get used to discovering smaller fields,”said Seyyed Saleh Hendi, an official from the National Iranian Oil Company.
According to Hendi, while new gas discoveries are possible, new oil findings are unlikely to be large. Iran has 157 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, the world’s third largest.
Tehran claims to have the largest gas deposits, but the US Energy Information Administration says the world’s biggest gas deposits are in Russia.
Iranian oil output is about four million barrels per day (bpd), of which about 1.5 million bpd are used domestically. This means the new deposits will allow the country to cover its oil demand for almost 21 years. About 4.7 billion barrels of these reserves are recoverable, Press TV reported.
The country has been exempt from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) deal to cut oil production. The oil cartel is trying to prop up crude prices which have more than halved in price since summer 2014 due to supply overhang.
Iran has been boosting oil production since the ending of the international sanctions against the country’s nuclear program. Some analysts have voiced concerns the Iranian oil expansion will slow during Donald Trump’s US Presidency. His administration has put the Islamic Republic ‘on notice’ after a missile test and an attack on a Saudi warship by Iran-backed Houthi militias in Yemen.