Iran ups crude oil reserves

Jan. 18, 2011 at 8:54 AM

TEHRAN, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- Crude oil reserves in Iran increased more than 9 percent to 150 billion barrels, the Iranian governor to OPEC said.

Mohammad Ali Khatibi, the Iranian representative to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, told the Oil Ministry's Petroenergy Information Network that Iran's crude oil reserves have increased.

"Examining new oil and gas discoveries and studying procedures concerning secondary reserves show that Iran's crude oil reserves have risen to 150 billion barrels of oil," he was quoted as saying.

This represents roughly a 9.5 percent increase from the previous reserve level of 137 billion barrels of crude estimated to be in Iran, he said.

Assuming the figures are accurate, Iran sits at the No. 3 spot in terms of proven oil reserves and No. 2 in terms of oil production among global oil suppliers.

He said Tehran was preparing forms to notify OPEC of the updated crude values. With Iran expected to maintain a daily oil production level of around 4.2 million barrels of oil per day, proven reserves in Iran should at least another 98 years, the minister said.

Iran took over at the rotating presidency of OPEC this year.

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