Last Updated on January 3, 2020
An oil field containing an estimated 53 billion barrels of crude oil was discovered in Iran’s Khuzestan province in November of 2019.
The massive oil field, covering an area of 2,400 sq km (about 1,491 square miles), appeared to be a boon for the heavily sanctioned country’s economy.
President Hassan Rouhani said that the vast oil field was around 80 meters (262 feet) deep.
Its size of an estimated 53 billion barrels would make it the country’s second biggest oil field, behind one in Ahvaz containing an estimated 65 billion barrels, according to CNN.
Iran – a founding member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) – currently boasts an estimated proven crude oil reserves of 155.6 billion barrels.
The new discovery would have added a little over third to its total oil reserves.
“We have found an oil field with 53 billion barrels of oil in place, 53 billion barrels. This is in a big oil field that stretches 2,400 sq km from Bostan to Omidiyeh. The oil layer has a depth of 80m (262ft),” Rouhani said in a speech, in Yazd.
“This is a small gift by the government to the people of Iran,” he added.
According to the BBC, he said Iran’s oil revenues will increase by $32 billion “if extraction rate from the oil field increases only 1%.”
“I am telling the White House that in the days when you sanctioned the sale of Iranian oil, the country’s workers and engineers were able to discover 53 billion barrels of oil,” he said to Fars news agency.
Iran has the world’s fourth-biggest oil reserves and second-largest gas reserves.
In preparation for a possible run for president in the year 2000, President Donald Trump repeatedly slammed the United States’ dependence on OPEC and said that a hypothetical Trump administration would stop the country’s reliance on the Middle East for oil production.