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Iran's president says new oil field with 50B barrels found


Tehran, Nov 10: Iran's president says a new oil field has been discovered with an estimated 50 billion barrels of crude oil in the country's south.

The announcement by President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday would mean Iran's proven crude oil reserves would be boosted by a third. Right now, Iran says it has some 150 billion barrels of proven crude oil reserves. He said the discovered field was located in Iran's oil-rich Khuzestan province.

Hassan Rouhani

Rouhani made the announcement Sunday in a speech in the desert city of Yazd. Iran's energy industry has been hard-hit by US sanctions over its collapsing nuclear deal with world powers.

Oil reserves refer to crude that's economically feasible to extract. Figures can vary wildly by country due to differing standards, though it remains a yardstick of comparison among oil-producing nations.

Iran currently has the world's fourth-largest proven deposits of crude oil and the world's second-largest deposits of natural gas. It shares a massive offshore field in the Persian Gulf with Qatar.

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The new oil field could become Iran's second-largest field after one containing 65 billion barrels in Ahvaz. The field is 2,400 square kilometers (925 square miles), with the deposit some 80 meters (260 feet) deep, according to the semi-official Tasnim news agency.

Since the U.S. withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal, the other countries involved - Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China - have been struggling to save it. However, they've offered no means by which Iran can sell its oil abroad. Iran since has gone beyond the deal's stockpile and enrichment limits, as well as started using advanced centrifuges barred by the deal. It just began injecting uranium gas into centrifuges at an underground facility as well.

The collapse of the nuclear deal coincided with a tense summer of mysterious attacks on oil tankers and Saudi oil facilities that the U.S. blamed on Iran. Tehran denied the allegation, though it did seize oil tankers and shoot down a U.S. military surveillance drone.

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