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Iran Discovers Country’s Second Biggest Oil Reservoir

By Orkhan Jalilov November 12, 2019

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The field, in the southwestern province of Khuzestan and about 2,400 sq km (926 sq miles) in area, contains 53 billion barrels of crude. / iStockphoto.com

Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh has said the oil reservoir recently discovered in the southwestern province of Khuzestan is the second largest in Iran.

“With an estimated 53 billion barrels of crude oil, Namavaran is the second largest oilfield discovered in Iran after the Asmari layer in Gachsaran that holds 54 billion barrels of crude oil,” the Iranian news agency SHANA quoted Zanganeh as saying on November 11.

Meanwhile, the Associated Press news agency describes a field in Ahvaz as the biggest in Iran which contains 65 billion barrels.

The field straddles from Bostan to Omidiyeh counties in oil-rich province Khuzestan, covering 2,400 square kilometers.

With an estimated 157 billion barrels of proved crude oil reserves, Iran ranked fourth in the world in terms of oil reserves and the second in terms of gas reserves, behind Russia.

In January, the country struck oil in Abadan, containing reserves of “very light and sweet”. The discovery on Minoo Island was the first-ever oil find in the general area of Abadan which is home to Iran’s largest and oldest oil processing facility, Iran’s Fars news agency reported.

In August, the National Iranian Oil Company Exploration Directorate (NIOCEXP) announced that according to exploration studies and seismological surveys conducted in the exploratory area of North Dezful, near the fields of Mansouri, Cheshmeh Khosh and Maroun, in the regions of Western and Eastern Sousangerd, reports are indicating the discovery of an oil reservoir.

“China, India and Turkey which account for 66 percent of Iranian crude oil exports have never stopped even for one minute buying Iranian crude and in increasing volumes. The European Union (EU) which used to account for 20 percent of Iranian oil exports before the sanctions is still buying Iranian crude albeit at a reduced level. Even Russia is buying Iranian oil by using oil-for-goods barter trade,” Mamdouh Salameh, a leading London-based oil economist said, according to Sputnik.

In 2012, oil exports contributed to about 80 percent of Iranian state revenue, and oil export revenues enabled Iran to amass well over $135 billion in foreign exchange reserves as of December 2016.

Iran’s crude oil exports were reduced by more than 80 percent following the United States re-imposed sanctions on the country last November after US President Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal with world powers. 

As most of the country’s exports are oil and gas, Iran has gone beyond the deal’s stockpile and enrichment limits, as well as started using advanced centrifuges barred by the deal.