Iran has found new shale oil reserves in its western province of Lorestan. The state-run National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) said that the new discovery was about 2 billion barrels of light crude. “Based on studies, it is estimated that the shale oil reserves in Ghali Koh in Lorestan amount to 2 billion barrels of oil in place,” Bahman Soleimani, NIOC’s Deputy Director for exploration, said, adding that “the oil is light.” Mr. Soleimani also said that the company was carrying out more exploration for shale gas reserves in the region and the studies were expected to be completed by October this year.
Moreover, Tehran is pondering new ways to extract and export its vast reserves of natural gas including developing facilities to liquefy the commodity and ship it to Europe. Following the relaxation of the sanctions regime, the country is interested in “joining the international LNG club“, Alireza Kameli, NIOC’s Managing Director, said last year. At the moment, Iran is only producing a small share of its gas reserves, suggesting that it will be able to gradually increase its supplies in the future.
One project aiming at gas would involve resuming work on Iran’s most advanced LNG project, Iran LNG, which was 40% complete when Western sanctions forced work to be abandoned in 2012. Mr. Kameli also said that it could take another three to four years to complete the project. According to the Iran Petroleum Ministry, the proved natural gas reserves of Iran are about 1,046 trillion cubic feet, almost 16 percent of the world’s total and the second biggest reserves globally after Russia.