Iran to probe for shale oil near Iraq border
Tehran, April 18, 2013
Iran plans to start looking for shale oil and gas this year near its border with Iraq, the head of exploration at the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) said on Wednesday.
Inspired by a shale revolution which has transformed the United States from the world's biggest importer to a potential exporter of gas, Saudi Arabia has already started probing its shale potential.
Iran will start its first shale oil and gas exploration in the Zagros region of western Iran before March next year, NIOC exploration chief Hormoz Qalavand told Fars news agency.
Qalavand said that NIOC is focusing its exploration activities on border areas, adding that the country had found a total number of 15 new oil and gas layers last year.
Iran is already an oil and gas exporter but is struggling to sell as much as its vast conventional reserves should allow due to Western sanctions on its energy industry imposed over its disputed nuclear programme.
Shale oil and gas projects are typically more expensive than conventional projects but can be attractive to countries that currently rely on imported fuels.-Reuters