Iran claims new oil, gas finds near border

TEHRAN, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- The Iranian government announced that it discovered new oil and natural gas fields along its borders with Iraq and Turkmenistan.

Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi told a domestic energy conference that more resources were discovered along the borders.


"Recent explorations in Iran have found new oil and gas reserves on borders with Turkmenistan and Iraq," he was quoted by the semiofficial Mehr News Agency as saying.

He described the reserve potential there as "massive" and said seismic surveys planned for the future would determine specific volumes.

Tehran this week boasted that it's made more than 2 billion barrels worth of oil discoveries since the beginning of the Persian year last March.

Iran's consumer base, however, has declined in the face of increasing sanctions imposed by Western powers out of concern for the country's nuclear ambitions.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose term expires this year, said Iran no longer needs the Europeans to prop up an economy that depends in part on oil.

"We do not need Europeans purchasing our oil," he was quoted by the news agency as stating. "We would make money ten times as oil income through new innovations in science and technology."


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