Published: Mon, November 11, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Iran discovers new oil field with over 50 billion barrels

Iran discovers new oil field with over 50 billion barrels

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has announced the discovery of a large oil field that could boost the country's proven reserves by about 30 percent.

Rouhani said the field was located in Iran's southern Khuzestan province, home to its crucial oil industry, with the 53 billion barrels added to Iran's reserves of roughly 150 billion.

The US began to ratchet up pressure on Iran in 2018 after withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

"Workers and the exploration arm of the National Iranian Oil Co. have found an oilfield with 53 billion barrels of reserves", Rouhani said in a televised speech in the central city of Yazd.

Oil reserves refer to crude that is economically feasible to extract.

"It was not us who started breaking commitments, it was them who did not keep to their commitments and can not accept the nuclear deal as a one-way road map", Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran, said.

The announcement by Hassan Rouhani comes as Iran faces crushing American sanctions after the United States pulled out of its nuclear deal with world powers past year.

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Tehran does not report exact figures, but says some crude is still exported via "unconventional" means.

Rouhani said: "If we save the nuclear deal, Iran's arms embargo will be lifted and we can buy weapons or sell our weapons to the world".

It has hit back at the U.S. with a series of countermeasures, stepping up its nuclear activities and threatening to go further unless the deal's promised economic benefits materialise.

"Our people weathered hard days in the past year".

Authorities have cracked down hard on "economic disruptors" - Iranians accused of exploiting shortages and fluctuations in gold and currency prices, with dozens tried and some executed.

"Where has the money gone?"

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