Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced Sunday that the country found a massive new oil field with more than 50 billion barrels of crude oil.
The new oil field, which could be Iran’s second largest, would increase Iran’s reserves by a third, at a time when Iran is struggling to sell oil abroad with the U.S. sanctions, The Associated Press reported. The field is expected to add $53 billion to Iran’s $150 billion in reserves.
“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,” AP reported Rouhani said during a speech in the city of Yazd.
The field is located in Iran’s southern Khuzestan province, stretching 2,400 square kilometers with the deposit 80 meters deep. Iran has the world’s fourth-largest deposits of accessible oil and the second-largest of natural gas, according to the AP.
Tensions between the U.S. and Iran have been tense after President Trump left the Iran nuclear deal negotiated under President Obama’s administration and reimposed sanctions against the nation.
Iran has since taken actions against the deal, including extending beyond its stockpile and enrichment limits and injecting uranium gas into a nuclear facility last week.