A new oil field that would increase Iran’s proven reserves by about a third has been discovered, President Hassan Rouhani has said.
The field, in the south-western province of Khuzestan and about 2,400 sq km (926 sq miles) in area, contains 53 billion barrels of crude, he said.
“Despite animosity and cruel sanctions, Iranian workers and engineers discovered a new oilfield,” he added.
Iran’s oil revenues will increase by $32bn (£25bn) “if extraction rate from the oil field increases only 1%”, he added.
“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 is quoted as saying by the semi-official Fars news agency.
The new oil field could become Iran’s second largest field after the one containing 65 billion barrels in Ahvaz.
Iran is one of the world’s largest oil producers, with exports worth billions of dollars each year. Right now, Iran says it has some 150 billion barrels of proven crude oil reserves.
US President Donald Trump reinstated the sanctions against Iran last year after abandoning the landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers.
Under the accord, Iran agreed to limit its sensitive nuclear activities and allow in international inspectors in return for sanctions relief.