Iran has found deposits of light crude oil with estimated reserves of 756 million barrels, at the newly discovered offshore Khayyam gas field near the Hormuzgan province.

About 170 million barrels, or 22 per cent of the reserves, are recoverable, according to Ahmad Qalebani, managing director of the state-owned National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), Press TV news agency reports.

The field has the potential for the production of 35,000 barrels a day (b/d) said Qalebani.

The Khayyam field was originally discovered in early 2011, but was thought to contain 260 billion cubic metres of natural gas and 220 million barrels of gas condensates (MEED 17:1:11).

The find comes shortly after Iran announced on 14 May the discovery of new onshore oil and gas fields in its south and west of the country estimated to hold about 500 million barrels of crude oil and 5 trillion cubic feet of gas.

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