Iran’s state oil company has struck natural gas at a new deposit, according to a report in PressTV, quoting another report from news agency Fars.
According to PressTV, NIOC’s head of exploration, Saleh Hendi, told Fars that “This field was discovered after a year of continuous exploration in southern Iran.”
Hendi reportedly added the gas was struck at a depth of 3,900 meters and that the deposit that was tapped contained enough energy to provide power to the whole of Tehran, which has a population of 12 million, over a period of 16 years.
The report comes on the heels of news that China’s CNPC had pulled out from the South Pars Phase 11 project, which was supposed to be led by French Total. Total, however, left Iran last year after U.S. sanctions snapped back, leaving CNPC with the opportunity to gain majority in the project. According to Iran’s Petroleum Minister Bijan Zanganeh, however, this did not happen, and the Chinese company pulled out, too, leaving local Petropars solely responsible for the project.
There have been numerous reports from official Iranian news outlets about continued oil and gas exploration in defiance of U.S. sanctions. Last December, NIOC’s Hendi said, “Based on our Five-Year Development Plan, we have had good achievements in exploration of oil and gas reservoirs, so that we now rank first in terms of oil and gas reserves in the world,” following successful new exploration results.
The U.S. sanctions have had no impact on exploration operations, Hendi said at the time, which continue as usual. Hendi then added that the sanctions had made Iran self-sufficient in producing equipment for oil and gas exploration.
The BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2018 with data at end-2017 places Iran fourth in proved oil reserves, behind Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, and Canada, and second in natural gas behind Russia.