Iran is currently cooperating with renowned Chinese and German energy firms in its shale gas and oil projects, a senior energy official announced on Saturday.
"We are negotiating with Germany to use their advanced technology for the hi-tech section of Lorestan shale projects," Hormuz Qalavand, the exploration director of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), told FNA on Saturday.
Qalavand noted that Iran is also cooperating with a Chinese company on the hi-tech parts of its gas hydrate project in the Sea of Oman.
Iran has vast shale oil and gas reserves in the West and the South. While some market analysts believe that shale oil and gas reserves might endanger market prices for conventional oil and gas, Iran's oil minister said he does not see the situation this way.
In January, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said he does not perceive shale or tight oil as a threat to OPEC.
Oil shale, also known as kerogen shale, is an organic-rich fine-grained sedimentary rock containing kerogen (a solid mixture of organic chemical compounds) from which liquid hydrocarbons called shale oil (not to be confused with tight oil—crude oil occurring naturally in shales) can be produced.
Shale oil is a substitute for conventional crude oil; however, extracting shale oil from oil shale is more costly than the production of conventional crude oil both financially and in terms of its environmental impact.
Deposits of oil shale occur around the world, including major deposits in the United States. Estimates of global deposits range from 4.8 to 5 trillion barrels of oil in place.