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Iran contains some of the largest and most attractive petroleum resources in the world, so any easing of sanctions could have a major impact on oil and gas markets in the second half of the decade.Iran's proven oil reserves of 160 billion barrels, almost 10 percent of the world total, rank it fourth after Venezuela (300 billion barrels), Saudi Arabia (265 billion barrels) and Canada (175 billion barrels), according to BP.Oil has been produced in Iran in commercial quantities as far back as 1908, making it one of the world's oldest producers.Sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union in response to concerns about Iran's nuclear program have cut production by around 1 million bpd to 3.4 million since 2012 .Iran consumes almost 2 million barrels a day of crude and refined products – which leaves between 1 million and 1.5 million bpd for export, down from 2.5 million before sanctions were imposed.In Iran, the sediments comprising the Zagros Basin are up to 12,000 meters thick.According to a report by the U.S. Bureau of Mines, the international consortium in Iran produced almost 430,000 bpd from just 113 wells in 1961, an average of more than 10,000 bpd per well, the highest in the world ("The Petroleum Industry of Iran," 1963).
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