400m Barrels of Oil Discovered p.a.

400m Barrels of Oil Discovered p.a.400m Barrels of Oil Discovered p.a.

Physical progress of oil exploration projects in Iran has reached 90 percent during the first four years of the Fifth Five-Year Economic Development Plan (2011-2016), said exploration director of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), IRNA reported.

The NIOC plans to discover 400 million barrels of oil and 132 million cubic meters of gas per annum, Hormoz Ghalavand said, noting that exploration projects are implemented as planned.

In the current Iranian calendar year (began March 21), the NIOC will bring into focus exploration of non-conventional hydrocarbon reserves. Shale gas was previously discovered in the west of Iran, but the volume of recoverable shale is yet unknown. There are reportedly shale oil and gas reserves in the south as well.  Shale oil is an unconventional oil resource produced from fragments of rock. It is a type of petroleum produced or extracted using techniques other than the conventional (oil well) method. There has been increasing investments in unconventional oil resources in the past decade due to the scarcity of crude reserves.

Shale oil and gas is extracted via a process called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. It is the process of drilling and injecting fluid into the ground at a high pressure in order to fracture shale rocks to release natural gas inside.

The NIOC, however, lacks advanced technology to conduct the necessary seismic survey for shale exploration, Ghalavand had said earlier in December. Negotiations were held on transfer of technology by European companies.