An Iranian official announced the discovery of new shale oil reserves in the country’s western province of Lorestan.
Oil exploration studies in Qalikooh region in the province of Lorestan led to the discovery of a new shale oil field with 2 billion barrels of in-situ oil reserves, Bahman Soleimani, an official at the Exploration Directorate of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) told Tasnim.
The newly-detected field contains light crude oil, he noted, adding that exploration of shale gas reserves is also in progress in Lorestan province.
Oil shale is an organic-rich rock that when heated, cooled, and then distilled yields oil, a process known as retorting.
Iran had previously announced new shale oil discoveries in the provinces of Kerman and Semnan.
The cost of conventional oil production in Iran stands below $10 per barrel, while shale oil production costs between $40 and $80 per barrel, making investment on shale oil economically infeasible at the current prices.
Iran is believed to have 158 billion barrels of proven conventional oil reserves, the fourth largest in the world.
(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)