(EnergyAsia, October 27 2010, Wednesday) — Iran has substantially boosted its oil reserves data to 150.31 billion barrels on the heels of a similar revision by Iraq earlier this month.

The revisions, unsubstantiated by independent surveyors, will likely spark similar moves by other members of the Organisation Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) seeking to increase their share within the cartel’s production quota.

Iran’s Oil Minister Masoud Mirkazemi announced his country’s increased reserves from 143.1 billion barrels to reclaim third spot from Iraq. Saudi Arabia and Canada, which is not an OPEC member, occupy the top two spots.

Mr Mirkazemi also raised Iran’s natural gas reserves, the world’s second largest after Russia, to 33.1 trillion cubic meters, from 29.61 tcm previously. He based this largely on the discovery of the new Sefid field in the southern province of Hormuzgan which holds an estimated 70 billion cubic meters of natural gas reserves.

Iran’s decision to substantially raise its oil and gas reserves comes on the heels of tightened economic sanctions imposed by the West.

Mr Mirkazemi said Iran’s increased hydrocarbon reserves will enable it to overcome the effects of the sanctions. Iran, which is producing around 3.6 million b/d of crude oil, has the capacity to produce 4.2 million b/d.