February 18, 2017 / 2:35 PM / 7 months ago

Iran finds 2 billion barrels shale oil reserves in western province: agency

FILE PHOTO - A gas flare on an oil production platform in the Soroush oil fields is seen alongside an Iranian flag in the Persian Gulf, Iran, July 25, 2005.REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi/File Photo

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran has found shale oil reserves of 2 billion barrels of light crude in its western Lorestan province, a senior official at the state-run National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) was quoted as saying on Saturday.

”Based on studies, it is estimated that the shale oil reserves in Ghali Koh in Lorestan amount to 2 billion barrels of oil in place,” Bahman Soleimani, NIOC’s deputy director for exploration, told the semi-official news agency Tasnim. “The oil is light.”

Soleimani said exploration was also being carried out for shale gas reserves in the area, and the studies were expected to be completed by October, 2017.

Iran’s proven oil reserves of about 160 billion barrels, almost 10 percent of the world’s total, rank it fourth among petroleum-rich countries.

Reporting by Dubai newsroom,; editing by Sami Aboudi and Ed Osmond

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