TEHRAN, Aug. 12 (UPI) -- Iran has been able to post a record in terms of the value of its oil discoveries despite the pressure from economic sanctions, a deputy minister said.
Deputy Petroleum Minister Ahmad Qalebani said the government estimates the value of its oil reserves at approximately $1.8 trillion.
"This figure has been calculated based on the current oil and gas prices, but it equals Iran's revenues from oil sales in more than a century," he was quoted as saying Sunday by the Oil Ministry's official Shana news agency.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said in its August report Iran produced nearly 2.68 million barrels of oil last month. Qalebani said exploration during "the past couple of years" has yielded 18.6 billion barrels of oil.
He said the chance of discovering oil during a drilling campaign in Iran was 90 percent last year and the country ranks first in exploration technology in the region.
"It is indicative of Iran's petroleum industry capabilities and the ineffectiveness of sanctions," he said.
The International Energy Agency said Iranian crude oil production declined modestly from June to July though exports rebounded because of the demand for oil from Asian economies.