BP classes Iran as world’s number one gas reserves holder
A file photo of installations at Iran's South Pars gas field
The UK-based energy giant, BP, has slashed its global natural gas reserves estimate for the first time in decades, sharply dropping Russia's classified holdings and placing Iran at the top of the world's gas-rich countries.
In its Statistical Review of World Energy released on Wednesday, the BP classed Iran as the world’s top gas reserves holder with 33.6 trillion cubic meters.
The company downgraded Russia’s reserves estimate to 32.9 trillion cubic meters from 44.6 trillion cubic meters in last year's report, putting global proven gas reserves at 187.3 trillion cubic meters as of the end of 2012.
Christof Ruhl, BP's chief economist, said in this regard that the firm decided this year to adjust its gas reserves estimates for the former Soviet Union, including Russia, where data on reserves is classified.
“Traditionally, countries of the former Soviet Union had different criteria than used elsewhere. So we used a conversion factor to convert that from those countries where we don't get direct data,” Ruhl added.
The annual report also cut the estimate of gas reserves in the United States.
Meanwhile, BP also upgraded oil reserves for both Iran and Iraq by several billion barrels, estimating global proven reserves at 1,669 billion barrels at the end of last year, up slightly from 1,654 billion at the end of 2011.
Iran has been trying to boost its gas production by attracting foreign and domestic investments, especially in South Pars gas field.
South Pars is part of a wider gas field that is shared with Qatar. The larger field covers an area of 9,700 square kilometers, 3,700 square kilometers of which are in Iran's territorial waters (South Pars) in the Persian Gulf. The remaining 6,000 square kilometers, referred to as the North Dome, are in Qatar's territorial waters.