Iran has discovered its first shale oil reserve containing over 2b barrels of light crude. The deposit is located in the western province of Lorestan, Neftegaz reported.

According to the National Iranian Oil Company’s (NIOC) Deputy Director for Exploration, Bahman Soleimani, exploration is also being carried out for shale gas reserves in the area with 80% overall progress, and the studies are expected to be completed by October 2017, Reuters informed.

An assessment of world shale oil and shale gas resources released by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) in September 2016 pointed out that 46 countries around the world possess deposits of shale oil and shale gas. The assessment put the unproved technically recoverable deposits of shale oil at 418.9b barrels and those of shale gas at 7,576.6tcf in these countries.

Shale oil is an unconventional oil produced from oil shale rock fragments by pyrolysis, hydrogenation, or thermal dissolution. Shale gas is natural gas that is found trapped within shale formations.