Kemp: Iran's Tantalizing Oil Prize

Kemp: Iran's Tantalizing Oil Prize
Iran contains some of the largest and most attractive petroleum resources in the world, so any easing of sanctions could have a major impact on oil and gas markets in the second half of the decade.

Reuters

John Kemp is a Reuters market analyst. The views expressed are his own

LONDON, April 15 (Reuters) - Iran contains some of the largest and most attractive petroleum resources in the world, so any easing of sanctions could have a major impact on oil and gas markets in the second half of the decade.

Iran's possible re-emergence as a major exporter would force a re-ordering of the world oil market both because of the country's location on the cost-curve and the quality of its oil.

Iran's proved oil reserves of 160 billion barrels, almost 10 percent of the world total, rank it fourth after Venezuela (300 billion barrels), Saudi Arabia (265 billion barrels) and Canada (175 billion barrels), according to BP.

The country also has the world's largest proved gas reserves of almost 34 trillion cubic metres (18 percent of the global total), putting it ahead of Russia (17 percent) and Qatar (13 percent).

Iran's petroleum resources are contained in large, conventional reservoirs with excellent geological properties that make them highly productive at a relatively low cost.

Oil has been produced in Iran in commercial quantities since 1908, making it one of the world's oldest producers.


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