Ali Kardor, the managing director of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), said that they have discovered 15 billion barrels of new in-place oil reserves, but the huge investments and state-of-the-art technology will be required to exploit the reserves, Iranian media reported.
Kardor added that about 1.8 trillion cubic meters (tcm) of in-situ reserves of natural gas around half of which he said were recoverable. However, he did not specify when and where the new discoveries had been made.
The official further noted that Iran's production of high-quality oil would reach four million barrels per day before April which, he contended, could be a landmark success for the country after the sanctions that had kept production a little above 2 mbd were lifted in January 2016.
Iran was under mounting international pressure over its controversial nuclear programme and Western firms have either pulled out or delayed their commitments in the vital energy sector after sanctions were imposed on Tehran. Following the struck of the nuke deal in 2015, the country began to boost its energy sector.
Meanwhile, NIOC Director for Corporate Planning Affairs Karim Zobeidi said the overall volume of Iran's oil reserves stood at 771.53 billion barrels, of which around 102 billion barrels would be recoverable at a rate of 24.6 percent.
Zobeidi added that Iran's in-place reserves of natural gas stand at 55 tcm, of which 33 tcm could be recovered at a rate of around 70 percent.
Exporting of oil is the biggest occupation of Iran and country's primary source of foreign currency.
Iran’s crude oil and condensate revenues are expected to reach $41 billion in the country’s current fiscal year ending on 20 March 2017, Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said earlier. For the first nine months of the current Iranian fiscal year, oil revenues reached $24.7 billion, the minister noted.
Currently, OPEC member Iran strives to increase oil exports in an attempt to regain lost share of the market due to the sanctions that were imposed in response to Iranian nuclear program.
The right to reach pre-sanction levels was the Islamic Republic’s main bargaining chip while pleading for an exemption from the OPEC producers’ supply-cut deal. Iran was given a leeway not to cut and its production was set at 3.797 million bpd as per the deal, below Tehran’s ask for being allowed to reach 4 million bpd.