Iraq’s Oil Ministry has announced its first oil discovery in three decades, with a new oil field in the eastern Missan province along the border with Iran.

“Iraqi Oil Company and the Southern Oil Company have been able to make a big achievement by finding oil in Al-Dima field in Missan province though the ministry did not expect the discovery of oil in the field,” Oil Minister Abdulkarim al-Luaibi told a press conference on 18 January, AK News agency reports.

Oil was struck at a depth of 2,300 metres at the Al-Dima field. The Oil Ministry is now estimating the size of the field’s reserves. No timeframe for its development has been announced.

In October 2010, the Oil Ministry announced an increase in its estimate of Iraq’s crude oil reserves to 143 billion barrels, up from 115 billion barrels. The declaration pushed Iraq past Iran as the world’s second-largest holder of crude reserves after Saudi Arabia (MEED 3:12:10).