It would be the second major oilfield discovered in the Iranian province since March 2019, after the NIOC announced the discovery of Namavaran oilfield last month, Press TV reported.
“Based on researches and reports, the site of another oilfield similar to Namavaran will be identified in Khuzestan” by March 21, 2020, the director of the NIOC’s exploration department, Saleh Hendi, said on Tuesday.
Namavaran, discovered by Iranian experts, is the country’s second largest reservoir, containing an estimated 53 billion barrels of reserves, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said last month. Iran’s largest oilfield contains 65 billion barrels and is located in the provincial capital of Ahvaz.
The newly-discovered field adds 22.2 billion barrels to the country’s crude reserves, estimated by the Oil & Gas Journal to stand at 158 billion barrels.
In October, the NIOC said it had discovered a massive onshore gas field in the country’s south after a year of exploration.
The site is estimated to house enough energy to power all homes in the Iranian capital of Tehran – a city with a population of over 12 million – for 16 years, reports said at the time.
The reservoir was found in the Ilam and Gurpi formations which are extended in the provinces of Khuzestan, Lorestan and Fars.
The Gurpi Formation is one of the most important lithostratigraphic units in the Zagros foreland basin because of its significance in the petroleum geology of Iran as the source rock.
Iranian officials have said the country is pressing ahead with its energy development plans despite US intensified unilateral sanctions which seek to cripple the country.
Hendi said on Tuesday that the NIOC had defined 12 projects in oil- and gas-bearing zones across the country. “Oil and gas is likely to be discovered in these 12 projects, five of which are in priority for implementation and seven others are under study,” he said.
Last December, Hendi said some 35-40 new hydrocarbon reservoirs had been discovered across Iran, which needed development.
“We are now ranked first in the world for oil and gas reserves,” he said.
Hendi also said Iran was scouring 60 percent of its total area for new oil and gas reserves, including in places which were deemed until recently to be the least likely to have hydrocarbon-bearing formations.
On Tuesday, he said Iran had enough oil and gas for the next 100 years.