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Iran announces discovery of new oil field containing 50-plus billion barrels of crude

New field increases Iran’s proven reserves by more than a third, says Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, and is “a small gift by the government to the people of Iran.”

Large tankers loading at Kharg Island Terminal, offshore in the Persian Gulf. As of 2012, the terminal has handled about 98 percent of Iran’s crude exports. Credit: National Iranian Oil Company via Wikimedia Commons.
Large tankers loading at Kharg Island Terminal, offshore in the Persian Gulf. As of 2012, the terminal has handled about 98 percent of Iran’s crude exports. Credit: National Iranian Oil Company via Wikimedia Commons.

Iran has discovered a new oil field containing more than 53 billion barrels of crude, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced on Sunday, increasing the country’s proven reserves by more than a third.

Speaking on official state TV, Rouhani called the new field, which he said covers some 920 square miles in Iran’s southwestern Khuzestan province, “a small gift by the government to the people of Iran,” according to AFP.

If the figures stated by Rouhani are correct, the new field would add some 34 percent to Iran’s proven reserves, estimated by energy giant BP at 155.6 billion barrels of crude oil, according to the report.

Iran is a founding member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and possesses what were already the world’s fourth-largest oil reserves and second-largest gas reserves.

Before sanctions imposed by U.S. President Donald Trump disrupted Iran’s oil sector in 2015, Iran was the second-largest oil exporter in the world.

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