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Oil reserves in Iran


Oil reserves in Iran

Iran's Oil and Gas Fields and Infrastructures
Proved oil reserves in Iran

Proved oil reserves in Iran, according to its government, rank fifth largest in the world at approximately 150 billion barrels (24×10^9 m3) as of 2014, although it ranks third if Canadian reserves of unconventional oil are excluded.[1] This is roughly 10% of the world's total proven petroleum reserves. At 2006 rates of production, Iran's oil reserves would last 98 years if no new oil was found.

According to [2]

Iran has more than a century of history in exploration and production; the first successful exploration well was Masjid Suleiman-1 on May 26, 1908. Since then, based on the latest oil and gas reports, 145 hydrocarbon fields and 297 oil and gas reservoirs have been discovered in Iran, with many fields having multiple pay zones. A total of 102 fields are oil and the remaining 43 are gas, and there are 205 oil reservoirs and 92 natural gas reservoirs. According to Iran Energy Balance Sheet (2009, in Persian), 78 of these fields are currently active, with 62 onshore and 16 offshore, leaving 67 fields inactive at present. Some 23 hydrocarbon fields lie in border areas and are shared between Iran and adjacent countries, including Kuwait, Iraq, Qatar, Bahrain, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Turkmenistan.[3]

Iranian production peaked at 6 million barrels per day (950×10^3 m3/d) in 1974,[4] but it has been unable to produce at that rate since the 1979 Iranian Revolution due to a combination of political unrest, war with Iraq, limited investment, US sanctions, and a high rate of natural decline.[4] Iran's mature oil fields are in need of enhanced oil recovery (EOR) techniques such as gas injection to maintain production,[4] which is declining at an annual rate of approximately 8% onshore and 10% offshore.[4] With current technology it is only possible to extract 20% to 25% of the oil in place[4] from Iran’s fractured carbonate reservoirs, 10% less than the world average.[4] It is estimated that 400,000-700,000 bbl/d of crude production is lost annually due to declines in the mature oil fields.[4]


  • Additions to reserves 1
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4

Additions to reserves

Iran oil reserves at the beginning of 2001 were reported to be about 99 billion barrels; however in 2002 the result of NIOC’s study showed huge reserves upgrade adding about 31,7 billion barrels of recoverable reserves to the Iranian oil reserves.

The 2002 NIOC reserve revision came from the following sources:[5]

  • Revision of oil-in-place volume which added 14,3 billion barrels of oil to Iran’s Oil in place reserves.
  • Revision of the field’s recovery factors which increased average recovery factor of the revised oil fields from 29% to 36%.
  • South Pars gas field liquefied petroleum gas reserves (C3 and C4) about 3,2 billion recoverable barrels.
  • New discoveries about 700 million recoverable barrels.

In addition to the large reserves, Iran still has huge potential for new significant gas discoveries: areas like Caspian Sea, North East, Central Kavir and especially areas starting from Aghar and Dalan gas fields in Fars province up to the Strait of Hormuz and Central Persian Gulf have considerable amount of undiscovered gas resources.[6] According to Exploration Directorate of NIOC, there are about 150 unexplored anticlines in Iran.[7]

Since 1995, the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) has made significant oil and gas discoveries, standing for some 84-billion-barrels (1.34×1010 m3) of oil in place and at least 191×10^12 cu ft (5,400 km3) of gas in place, which are listed below.[8]

In the Zagros and Persian Gulf Basins the highly porous Cretaceous and Tertiary carbonate rocks make very important oil reservoirs, while Permo-Triassic carbonates, particularly the Dalan and Kangan formations, are the main gas and condensate reservoirs. It is reported that 38 gas/condensate pools have been discovered in the Dalan and Kangan formations in these basins alone. The mid-Cretaceous Sarvak formation is significant for the volume of recoverable oil it holds, while the Oligo-Miocene Asmari formation is the best current producer.[9]

NIOC Oil Discoveries Since 1995.[10]
Field's Name Oil In Place Recoverable Oil Discovery Year
Billion Barrel Billion Barrel
Azadegan 33.2 5.2
Yadavaran (Kushk+Hosseinieh) 17 3
Ramin [11] 7.398 1.11 2007
South Pars Oil Layer 6 NA
Band-E-Karkeh [12][13] 4.5 NA 2007
Mansour Abad 4.45 NA 2007
Changoleh [14] 2.7 NA
Azar[15][16] 2.07 NA 2007
Paranj 1.6 NA 2007
Andimeshk (Balaroud)[17] 1.1 0.233 2007
Binalood[18] 0.776 0.099 2008
Mansouri-Khami layer[19] 0.760 NA
Jofeyr-Fahliyan layer[20][21] 0.750 NA 2008
Asaluyeh[22] 0.525 NA 2008
Arvand[23] 0.500 NA 2008
Sumar[24] 0.475 0.070 2010
Tusan 0.470 NA 2006
Arash 0.168 NA
Total 84.442 NA

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b OPEC Annual Statistical Bulletin 2006
  3. ^ Persia Land of Black Gold, Retrieved 2012-4-14.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g
  5. ^ The 8th IIES International Conference “Energy Security and New Challenges”, held in 29–30 November 2003, IRIB Conference Center, Tehran, Iran [1]
  6. ^ Undiscovered Oil and Gas Resources of Lower Silurian Qusaiba-Paleozoic Total Petroleum Systems [2]
  7. ^ 17 Apr 2008 [3]
  8. ^ Iran Oil Ministry Annual Bulletin, 5th Edition, pages 190-193 (available in persian)(كتاب نفت و توسعه).[4] and Iran Energy Balance Sheet (ترازنامه انرژی ایران ) (available in Persian), Pages 132 & 175, Published by; Iran’s Energy Ministry, Secretariat of Energy and Electricity,2006 [5]
  9. ^ Persia Land of Black Gold, Retrieved 2012-4-14.
  10. ^ Iran Oil Ministry Annual Bulletin, 5th Edition, pages 190-193 (available in persian)(كتاب نفت و توسعه).[6] and Iran Energy Balance Sheet (ترازنامه انرژی ایران ) (available in Persian), Page 132, Published by; Iran’s Energy Ministry, Secretariat of Energy and Electricity,2006 [7]
  11. ^ NIOC Official News Agency,(,April 23, 2005, [8]
  12. ^ NIOC Official News Agency,(,25/4/2009, [9]
  13. ^ NIOC Official News Agency,(,25/4/2009[10]
  14. ^ NIOC Official News Agency,(,October 15, 2007,[11]
  15. ^ NIOC Official Web Site,(,[12]
  16. ^ NIOC Official News Agency,(,October 15, 2007,[13]
  17. ^ NIOC Official News Agency,(,[14]
  18. ^ NIOC Official News Agency,(,[15]
  19. ^ NIOC Official Web Site,(,[16]
  20. ^ NIOC Official News Agency,(,[17]
  21. ^ NIOC Official News Agency,(,July 02, 2008,[18]
  22. ^ NIOC Official News Agency,(,[19]
  23. ^ NIOC Official News Agency,(,[20]
  24. ^ NIOC Official News Agency,(,[21]

External links

  • Methodology in estimating the size of oil and gas fields
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