TEHRAN, July 18 (UPI) -- An Iranian oil executive said oil was discovered in shale deposits in western Iran but the find wasn't currently economical to develop.
Iran has ramped up domestic oil and natural gas activity in the face of tightened economic sanctions targeting its energy sector. Though sanctions have hurt the Iranian economy, lawmakers said they would also enhance the country's self-reliance.
Mahmoud Mohaddes, exploration director at the National Iranian Oil Co., told the Oil Ministry's Peroenergy Information Network that oil was discovered in shale deposits in the west of the country.
"Some countries lack huge oil and gas reserves therefore extraction oil and gas from shale is economical for them but regarding existence of abundance oil and gas reserves in our country, extracting of oil and gas from shale oil and shale gas is not economical," he said.
Nevertheless, he said, NIOC has a contract with Tehran University to study shale deposits in the country.
"By conducting a study on shale oil and shale gas, we plan to identify potential deposits in our country," he said.