According to a report by Reuters Iran may be using all of its oil production for internal consumption within the next ten years.
Iran's claim to need nuclear power may be genuine, given that it could run out of oil to export as soon as eight years from now, according to an analysis published 12/26/06 by the National Academy of Sciences.
The study's author, Roger Stern, a researcher at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, said investment in Iranian oil production had been inadequate to offset oil field declines and the explosive growth in domestic demand.
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The analysis said the Iranian government could become "politically vulnerable" from declining exports. Oil exports account for about 70 percent of Iranian government revenue.
Stern projected that in five years, Iranian oil exports may be less than half their present level, and could drop to zero by 2015.
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The implications for the West involve the loss of Iran's oil on the open market and a concerted push by Iran for nuclear power.