London, Asharq Al-Awsat—British oil giant BP has reduced its estimates of global gas reserves for the first time in decades, and has moved Iran to the head of the list of states with the largest reserves of natural gas.
In the latest review of world energy supplies published by the company, it ranked Iran as first in the world in terms of natural gas reserves, with 33.6 trillion cubic meters, replacing Russia as the country with the largest reserves.
The company reduced its estimates for Russia from 44.6 trillion cubic meters to 32.9 trillion cubic meters, and said total global reserves stood at 187.3 trillion at the end of 2012.
BP chief economist Christof Ruehl explained that the company had decided to adjust its estimates for gas reserves in this year’s report because the countries of the former Soviet Union had different criteria for reporting reserves than used elsewhere, producing a new ranking when converted.
The BP report also upgraded Iran and Iraq’s ranking in oil reserves by several billion barrels, calculating that world reserves will stand at 1.66 billion barrels at the end of the current year, a small increase over last year’s total of 1.65 billion barrels.
In recent years, Iran has taken steps to boost gas production in an attempt to attract local and foreign investors, especially in the South Pars Gas Field.
The South Pars Gas Field is part of a large field jointly owned with Qatar. The larger part of the field covers 9,700 square feet, 3,700 of which is in Qatari territorial waters.
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