Iran’s Oil Ministry has announced the discovery of a new onshore gas field in the south of the country.

The newly discovered field, known as the Khayyam, contains 260 billion cubic metres of gas, 210 billion of which is recoverable, the field could be worth $50bn, according to Oil Minister Masoud Mirkazemi, state-run Mehr news reports.

“The field also holds some 220 million barrels of gas condensates, 100 million barrels of it is recoverable,” says Mirkazemi.

The second discovered field, named Sefid in the southern province of Hormozgan, contains 70 billion cubic metres of gas, of which 72 per cent can be exploited.

Iran made several announcements of major discoveries last year, including new gas reserves found at the Attar field and Toos field in the Khorasan Razavi province in the northeast of the country, as well as a new layer of oil at the offshore Ferdowsi gas field in the Gulf (MEED 23:11:10).

In 2009, UK oil major BP estimated Iran has 137.6 billion barrels in proven crude reserves. However, Mirkazemi announced in October that the Islamic Republic had raised its estimated reserves figure to 150.31 billion barrels.

Analysts have been sceptical of the new figures, coming shortly after neighbouring Iraq increased its own reserves estimates taking it past Iran and the world’s third-largest crude oil producer.

Iran also holds an estimated 29.61 trillion cubic metres of natural gas, the second-largest reserves in the world after Russia.