Iran has discovered a vast new natural gas field in the depths of the Caspian Sea, its Petroleum Minister Rostam Qasemi announced Sunday.
The news was posted on the Iranian Ministry of Petroleum's news website, Shana.
Qasemi told journalists at a news conference in Tehran the gas reserves were located at a depth of 700 meters (2,300 feet), and were found to be considerable larger than previously estimated.
No specific information about the size of the field was provided, nor about its precise location. However, the minister claimed that Iran had already possessed 11 trillion cubic meters of proven gas reserves in the Caspian Sea prior to the discovery.
The minister claimed the gas field was located in Iranian waters, according to the FARS news agency, but did not reveal which part of the Caspian Sea.
Iran is unwilling to sign an agreement designating borders on the Sea, but claims to own a large portion of the body of water, which is bordered by five different nations: Azerbaijan, Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Iran.
The Islamic Republic holds 29.6 trillion cubic meters of gas reserves -- the world's second-largest supply -- according to the June edition of the BP Statistical Review of World Energy, surpassed only by Russia.