NIOC head: Iran’s oil deposit in Caspian Sea worth over $50 billion

Azerbaijan, Baku, Jul.9/ Trend F.Milad/

The in-situ reserve of crude oil in the Sardar Jangal gas field, located in the Caspian Sea, is worth over $50 billion, the National Iranian Oil Company's managing director said.

Ahmad Qalehbani told IRNA News Agency that exploring crude oil in the Caspian Sea proved the sanctions against the country's oil sector to be ineffective.

The new oil reserves were discovered by the Amir Kabir semi-submersible drilling rig in the course of exploration operations on Sardar Jangal gas field on May 10.

Iran is OPEC's second-largest oil producer after Saudi Arabia, and has 150.3 billion barrels of crude oil and 33.1 trillion cubic meters of natural gas.

Iran announced in December 2011 that it has discovered a large gas field in the Caspian Sea with at least 50 trillion cubic feet (some 1.4 trillion cubic meters) of reserves.

The field, in waters 700 meters deep, lies wholly within Iran's territorial waters, Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi explained.

He added excluding this new discovery Iran has 11 trillion cubic meters of proven gas reserves in the Caspian Sea.

Qasemi also announced that Iran is now the sole country in the region which has found access to the technology to drill wells in deep waters.

Iran plans to invest as much as $50 billion a year in its oil industry to maintain its position as OPEC's second-largest crude exporter and boost natural gas production.

The country needs to increase its output to 5.1 million barrels a day from current 3.9 million barrels by 2015.

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