“The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) has announced the discovery of a huge oil field with considerable crude reserves in southern Iran. NIOC’s Director for Exploration Seyyed Mahmoud Mohaddes said Saturday that an exploratory oil well has already been drilled in the area. “The newly-discovered oil field must be considered among the biggest fields ever discovered in Iran,” he said. The Iranian official also added that initial tests have indicated the high quality of the oil in the new field. Mohaddes went on to say that the details about two or three more oil fields will be announced in the near future. A total of 18 heavy and extra heavy oilfields have so far been discovered in Iran, including Ferdowsi oil field in the Persian Gulf, which is one of the country’s biggest heavy oil fields with proven reserves of more than 31 billion barrels. Iran’s total in-place oil reserves have been estimated at more than 560 billion barrels with about 140 billion barrels of extractable oil……….”
According to the CIA
(2011) Iranian reserves were pushed back to the 4th largest in the world, behind Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, and Canada. Last year, Venezuelan reserves jumped with some OPEC estimates putting them ahead of both Iran and Saudi Arabia. Iranian and Iraqi ‘proven’ reserves have been hampered over the past 30 years by wars, sanctions, and Western economic blockades. It is possible, nay very likely, that one or both of these countries has more reserves than the current leaders. The Iranians note their “in-place” reserves are 560 billion barrels, but that is only ‘potentially’ recoverable oil. As more explorations and studies are done, as well as more investments in technology and machinery, some of this ‘in-place’ oil becomes extractable.
Both Iran and Iraq suffered from lack of serious exploration and investment in new oil fields over the past three decades, and their reserves can only shoot up noticeably in the next few years. On the other hands there are reports that Saudi production capacity is declining as the country has been producing large amounts as a ‘swing’ producer. But Saudi Arabia has a huge land mass: there may be more oil reserves hidden under the sands, and not necessarily in the Eastern Province.
Of course, the expanded reserves do not help the Iranian people in the short term as the Western powers, under Israeli and ‘princely’ pressure, tighten their squeeze on the economy.