TEHRAN (Iran News) – Iran has the equivalent of over 1.2 trillion barrels of oil and gas as a senior Oil Ministry official says the country will be able to tap those reserves for at least a century from now.
CEO of the state run National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) Mohsen Khojasteh Mehr said late on Friday that Iran is now the largest holder of hydrocarbon reserves in the world considering its new discoveries.
“With regards to in-place oil and gas and also in-place liquids and condensates we have the equivalent of more than 1,200 billion barrels of crude under the ground,” Khojasteh Mehr told the state TV.
Giving a breakdown of the figure, the deputy oil minister said that Iran’s extractable crude reserves are estimated at 157 billion barrels considering the enhanced recovery rate.
He added that natural gas reserves are estimated at 33 trillion cubic meters (116.5 trillion cubic feet).
Khojasteh Mehr said the massive reserves enables Iran to continue to produce oil and gas for at least the next 100 years.
The figures come days after Iranian government officials said crude oil production in the country had reached levels seen before the United States imposed sanctions on Iran in 2018 following its decision to withdraw from an international deal on Tehran’s nuclear program.
Media reports and government statements suggest crude exports from Iran have been at around 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) since late last year. That comes despite US sanctions which have sought to pile economic pressure on Iran by choking off its oil export revenues.
Khojasteh Mehr insisted that Iran’s crude production had already reached a pre-sanctions capacity of over 3.8 million bpd.
He added that the country managed to increase its oil exports by 40 percent at the height of restrictive measures imposed by the United States to choke off Iran’s energy sales.
Khojasteh Mehr announced that Iran’s crude oil production capacity has reached the pre-sanctions level of 3.838 million barrels per day (bpd), despite all the sanctions and economic pressure.
Over the past months, Iranian experts carried out more than 1,800 operational works and over 250 overhauls in oil wells, he said, adding that they also put about 13 new oil wells into the production phase.
Asked whether the surge in oil production capacity was due to the easing of U.S. sanctions, Khojasteh Mehr replied that the figures had been achieved “at the height of the excessive restrictions.”
“The Iranian nation has always achieved the greatest success in the most difficult conditions,” he said.
“We increased exports by 40 percent and exceeded our commitments regarding the value of exports in the annual budget at a time when not only the sanctions were not eased but we even faced a host of [new] restrictions that created disruptions for oil buyers, intermediaries, and maritime navigation systems,” he asserted.
The NIOC chief also said the company has identified new markets and is using modern methods in its contracts as well as a new logistics and transportation system.
He further noted that the country’s entire financial, monetary and banking network has been at work to ensure the reimbursement of payments.