Iran claims to have found new oilfield with 53 billion barrels of crude reserves; Norway discovers 100 million barrels reserves

Iran has claimed to have discovered a new oilfield in the southwest of the country that has the potential to boost its reserves by about a third, President Hassan Rouhani said to Reuters.

“Workers and the exploration arm of the National Iranian Oil Company…have found an oilfield with 53 billion barrels of reserves,” Rouhani said in a televised speech in the central city of Yazd. The field stretches over 2,400 sq km (927 sq miles) in the oil-rich Khuzestan province, Rouhani said.

Iran ranks as the worlds fourth-largest reserve holder of oil, and the second-largest holder of gas reserves, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Iran had an estimated 157 billion barrels of proved crude oil reserves in January 2018, the EIA website said.

Since withdrawing from Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, the United States has reimposed sanctions to strangle its vital oil trade.

In another discovery, Norway’s energy giant Equinor has made one of this year’s biggest discoveries in the North Sea estimated to contain up to 100 million barrels of oil equivalent in the most mature area of the basin.

“We are making one of this year’s biggest discoveries in the most mature area of the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS), not far from the Troll field. This demonstrates the opportunities that still exist for value creation and revenue from this industry,” Nick Ashton, Equinor’s senior vice president for exploration in Norway and the UK, said in a statement.

Last month, Equinor started up the giant oil field Johan Sverdrup in Norway’s North Sea, and production has already reached a rate of above 200,000 barrels per oil per day.

Equinor’s latest discovery is estimated to hold recoverable resources of around 70 million barrels of oil equivalent, oil and gas analyst Rystad says, noting that this discovery brings total year-to-date discoveries to 520 million barrel oil equivalent (boe), above the 518 million boe found offshore Norway in 2018. Norway’s oil production fell in 2018 compared to 2017 and is further expected to drop this year to its lowest level since 1988.

Shekhar Ghosh is consulting editor, Indoasiancommodities.com. He has edited and written for publications like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today, Outlook and many other international publications. He can be reached at shekhar.ghosh@indoasiancommodities.in.

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