Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced on 10 November in a speech in the desert city of Yazd that his country has discovered a new oil field in the country’s south with over 50 billion barrels of crude.

As Iran faces stringent US sanctions that have crippled the Islamic republic’s exports, the latest discovery could reportedly boost the Islamic republic’s proven reserves by a third but it is unlikely that Iran would be able to profit from it in near future.

Some 53 billion barrels would be added to Iran’s proven reserves of roughly 150 billion, AP quoted Rouhani as saying. “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.

Iran currently has the world’s fourth-largest proven deposits of crude oil and the world’s second-largest deposits of natural gas.

The new oil field could become Iran’s second-largest field after one containing 65 billion barrels in Ahvaz. The field is 2,400 square kilometres, with the deposit some 80 metres deep, Rouhani was quoted as saying.