TEHRAN (Iran News) – Iran has discovered new oil reserves in the country’s southwest, the details of which will be announced by Minister of Petroleum Javad Owji in the near future, the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) says.
Iranian experts have also carried out well-logging on an offshore exploratory block in the Persian Gulf with gas reserves estimated at 30 trillion cubic feet, director of exploration at NIOC Mehdi Fakour announced on Tuesday.
“For the first time, we have achieved the method of aerial magnetometry which is used up to a depth of 7,000 meters below the surface of the earth to identify reservoirs and hydrocarbon fields,” the official said.
The technique involves using unmanned aircraft and magnetometers equipped with georeferencing systems and other navigation instruments to perform magnetic scans.
Fakour said the design of the aircraft was carried out by Iranian scientists, and the plane is currently being used to collect data. “One tenth of the area of the country is to be surveyed by this plane,” he said.
“Few people in the world have the ability to fly such an aircraft, which must be flown at a low altitude – 600 meters above ground – under special conditions. A 30-year-old Iranian, trained domestically, will do this grave task in the Zagros mountains,” Fakour added.
Most of Iran’s oil and gas fields lie in a belt running along its maritime boundary in the Persian Gulf and the foothills of the Zagros Mountains – an extensive folded zone which is geologically the result of the Arabian plate’s collision with the central Iranian plateau.
The collision has trapped thick layers of ancient limestone and sandstone and turned them into some of the world’s biggest oil and gas accumulations.
The Zagros basin covers more than 550,000 square kilometers, stretching from Turkey and Syria through the Iraqi Kurdistan into Iran where its sediments are ideally up to 12,000 meters thick.
Some 23 Iranian hydrocarbon fields lie in border areas and are shared between Iran and adjacent countries, including Kuwait, Iraq, Qatar, Bahrain, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Turkmenistan.
The Islamic Republic has kicked off cooperation with four countries, including Tajikistan, in implementing exploring studies, he said.
Some 14 exploration blocs have been defined in Iran, but none of them have been handed over or invested in due to cruel sanctions on the country, he noted.
According to the director, Iran cooperates with an Asian country and five European ones to follow up on research projects, and an offshore bloc comprised of 30 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of gas reserves is located in the Persian Gulf, which can play a key role in upgrading industrial level in the country.
He further underlined that another method is geobotanical prospecting, which refers to prospecting based on indicator plants like metallophytes and the analysis of vegetation, and that an Iranian knowledge-based company in collaboration with a university paved the ground for locating the first well explored by use of the method.
The budget for exploration increased 31 percent, he said, adding that the exploration projects in Iran need 1.5 billion dollars within a five-year period.
The Exploration Department of the National Iranian Oil Company is holding negotiations with three Iranian firms for outsourcing three blocs worth 2.5 billion dollars, the official note
Iran’s proven oil reserves of at least 160 billion barrels account for almost 10 percent of the world total and rank it fourth after Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and Canada. The country also sits on the world’s largest proven gas reserves of almost 34 trillion cubic meters, or 18 percent of the global total.
Iran’s oil and gas resources are also some of the exceptionally most attractive in the world from an economic point of view. They are trapped in large, conventional reservoirs with excellent geological properties that make them highly productive at a low cost.