Iran, 1st in World in Oil and Gas Discovery despite Inequalities: Official

TEHRAN (Shana) -- The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) was ranked first in the world in completely unequal conditions due to the imposition of severe sanctions, said an NIOC official.

According to Seyed Saleh Hendi, the director of Exploration at the National Iranian Oil Company, who addressed a press conference on Saturday, and reviewed the recent report by Wood Mackenzie Institute on world oil and gas discovery statistics, "Despite facing cruel sanctions and in completely unequal conditions, the National Iranian Oil Company was able to occupy the first place in the world in terms of the amount of discovery of extractable hydrocarbon reserves."

He said that all over the world, with the reduction of oil prices or lack of budget in oil companies, the exploration sector is the first place where the budget is reduced, however, there was no reduction in exploration costs of Iran's oil industry in 2019.

He said the year abounded with exploration achievements and drilling of a total of 600 exploration wells in the year resulted in the discovery of more than 220 hydrocarbon fields or reservoirs worldwide.

According to Wood Mackenzie, the 2019 discoveries were twice as many as the 2018 discoveries, and the number of discoveries in 2019 was unprecedented in the last five years.

The director of exploration of the National Iranian Oil Company continued: "This report shows that exploration in the world is more inclined towards natural gas, as 75% of the discoveries in 2019 were dedicated to gas exploration."

According to Hendi, with the efforts of oil industry partners, especially the hardworking staff of the National Iranian Oil Company, the first and third ranks among the 20 major oil and gas discoveries in the world were allocated to Iran; likewise, Eram gas field with extractable reserves equal to 2.7 Billion barrels has become the world's first major discovery, and the Namavaran reservoir with the extractable reserves of 2.2 billion barrels of oil is the third largest discovery in the world in 2019.

He further said new exploration projects were being considered by NIOC in Gorgan and Moghan areas.

“We have no desire for sanctions, but we will not give up,” he said.

"We do not like sanctions," Hendi said. “We are reluctant to be targeted by sanctions and would like to work with the rest of the world in the open, but our exploration success has shown that we will continue to do so, even under the most severe sanctions.”

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