The Iranian oil authorities have announced the discovery of new deposits containing an estimated 1.07 billion barrels of oil and 800 billion cubic feet of gas. Speaking to Iranian state television, Mahmoud Mohaddes, the director of exploration at the National Iranian oil company, said that more reserves could be found after drilling a number of appraisal wells in the Changuleh field in western Ilam province.
Mohaddes said the new gas field, called Zireh, could produce 80 million cubic feet of gas a day. Zireh is located north of the Kangan gas field in the Gulf province of Bushehr.
They were the second major hydrocarbon discoveries announced in Iran in the space of a week. Last Sunday the discovery was announced that a new on-shore gas field, called Homa, with recoverable reserves of 133.1 billion cubic meters of sweet (unsulforous) gas and 58 million barrels of gas liquids in the southern Fars province. And earlier the discovery was announced of the huge Azadegan field near the border with Iraq, with estimated recoverable reserves of 5-6 billion barrels.
Mohaddes said Iran’s oil reserves equal 520 billion barrels, of which up to 25 percent is recoverable. He said the figure could rise to 35 percent with greater investment in infrastructure the better use of new technology.
Mohaddes said Iran had significantly increased its exploration activities “Such a level of exploration is unprecedented since the  revolution,” he said in the television interview. He added that exploration work would still be carried out in one sedimentary basin with an area of 950,000 square km.
Mohaddes said Iran was seeking foreign investment to explore several potentially energy-rich areas and expected to tie up several contracts by March 2001. The country already has an exploration deal with Norway’s Norsk Hydro for southwestern Anaran region, near the Iraqi border. If Hydro finds oil it would have first crack at negotiating a development contract.
Mohaddes said Iran had fully appraised the volume of oil and gas at the Arash field after drilling a 3,700-metre-deep well. Arash, which is known as called Al Dorra in the Arab World, is an offshore field in the Gulf, claimed also by Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. A dispute surfaced after Iran began drilling work on the field earlier this year. Iran later stopped the operation after completing work and Iran and Kuwait are negotiating to settle the row. – (Albawaba-MEBG)