Iran has discovered a new oil field in the country's south with over 50 billion barrels of crude, its president said Sunday, a find that could boost the country's proven reserves by a third as it struggles to sell energy abroad over US sanctions. The announcement by Hassan Rouhani comes as Iran faces crushing American sanctions after the US pulled out of its nuclear deal last year. Rouhani said the field was located in Iran's southern Khuzestan province, home to its crucial oil industry, reports the AP. Some 53 billion barrels would be added to Iran's proven reserves of roughly 150 billion, he said. "I am telling the White House that in the days when you sanctioned the sale of Iranian oil and pressured our nation, the country's dear workers and engineers were able to discover 53 billion barrels of oil in a big field," Rouhani said.
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. The new oil field could become Iran's second-largest field after one containing 65 billion barrels in Ahvaz. The field is 925 square miles, with the deposit some 260 feet deep, Rouhani said. Since the US 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.
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