Iran Economy NewsIran crude reserves rise to 158 bln barrels -...

Iran crude reserves rise to 158 bln barrels – report

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Reuters: Iran’s oil reserves stand at 158 billion barrels, the ISNA news agency reported on Sunday, signalling a slight rise in the Islamic Republic’s estimate.

TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iran’s oil reserves stand at 158 billion barrels, the ISNA news agency reported on Sunday, signalling a slight rise in the Islamic Republic’s estimate.

Last October Iran upped its reserves figure to 150.31 billion barrels from a previous estimate of 138 billion barrels in response to neighbour Iraq increasing its estimate.

The ISNA report did not say how the further increase had been calculated but quoted Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi as saying his plan to concentrate on extracting crude from fields shared with other countries would boost production.

“By the end of the Fifth Development Plan (2010-2015), the country’s oil production must increase to 5.2 million barrels per day (bpd) and this should happen from the country’s joint fields,” it quoted Qasemi as saying.

Officials have put Iran’s current output at between 3.6 million and 4 million bpd, with the latest estimate, given by Hormoz Qalavand, head of the state-run National Iranian Southern Oil Company to the semi-official Fars news agency on Wednesday, of 3.92 million bpd.

The world’s fourth-largest exporter is under international sanctions — imposed by countries that are concerned about its nuclear programme — that have forced western companies to pull out money and know-how from Iran’s energy sector.

(Reporting by Hossein Jaseb and Ramin Mostafavi;Editing by Sophie Walker)

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