|File photo shows the Amir Kabir semi-submersible drilling rig in the Caspian Sea|
Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi says the crude in the newly-discovered oil reserves in Iran’s territorial waters in the Caspian Sea is among the most high-quality crude in the world.
“The oil discovered in Sardar-e Jangal field is of the best kinds of crude oil in the world,” Qasemi was quoted as saying in a Thursday report by ISNA.
The new oil reserves were discovered by the Amir Kabir semi-submersible drilling rig in the course of exploration operations on Sardar-e Jangal gas field in the deep waters of the Caspian Sea on May 10.
The Iranian oil minister added that the oil reserves of the field rank very high in terms of the API (the American Petroleum Institute gravity index).
The quality of crude oil is determined based on the API degree. Oil with an API gravity of between 40 and 45 commands the highest prices.
Stating that the oil in the field is not sour, Qasemi noted that further studies are required to determine the exact amount of the in-place reserves of the field.
Early estimates have put the field’s oil reserves at 8-10 billion barrels, though exploration activities are still underway.
Qasemi announced the discovery of the huge Caspian field, which was later dubbed Sardar-e Jangal, on December 11, 2011, saying that the field contains 50 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
According to the officials of the National Iranian Oil Company, the new field is completely situated within Iran’s territorial waters in the Caspian Sea and is not shared with any neighboring country.
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, according to the latest official statistics.
The Persian Gulf country sits on the world's second-largest gas reserves after Russia.