Iran (now the Islamic Republic of Iran) is one of the world’s oldest continuous major civilizations, with a population of over 78 million. Oil was first discovered in Iran in 1908 leading to the formation of the London-based Anglo-Persian Oil Company.
Later, in the 1950’s, the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) was formed. After the Islamic Revolution of 1978–79, the NIOC took control of Iran’s petroleum industry and all exploration, production, sale, and export of oil is administered by the Ministry of Petroleum.
Iran is one of the founder members of OPEC. Its proven oil reserves are approximately 158 billion barrels, which is roughly 10% of the world’s total proven petroleum reserves and about 13 percent of OPEC’s, placing it in third position behind Venezuela and Saudi Arabia. When taken together with its holding of 15% of the world’s gas reserves, Iran is considered an energy superpower.
Iran produces about 3 million bpd, of which around 1 million bpd are exported. Iranian production peaked at around 6 million barrels per day in 1974, but it has been unable to reach that level since the 1979 Iranian Revolution due to a combination of political unrest, war with Iraq, limited investment, and US sanctions. The industry was disrupted by the international embargo from July 2012 through January 2016.
Oil proceeds represent about 18% of GDP. The oil and gas sector account for about 60 percent of total government revenues and 80% of the annual value of exports and foreign currency earnings.
Interestingly, Iran manufactures 60–70% of its industrial equipment domestically, including various turbines, pumps, catalysts, refineries, oil tankers, drilling rigs, offshore platforms, towers, pipes, and exploration instruments.
Petrochemical Complexes in Asaluyeh