TEHRAN, May 21 (UPI) -- An Iranian official said his company encountered a new oil field in its territorial waters of the Caspian Sea and would work to survey the find.
Ali Osouli, managing director of the Khazar Exploration and Production Co., in Iran said operators had encountered an oil pay of at least 78 feet thick in the deep waters of the Caspian Sea.
"After 104 years this is for the first time oil is erupted in Caspian Sea waters during drilling operations," he told the Oil Ministry's official Petroenegy Information Network, or SHANA.
Osouli said oil was encountered during drilling operations at a Caspian natural gas field, where the company has been working since December.
Tehran has touted its reserve potential as economic sanctions targeting its energy sector tighten. New Delhi, one of Iran's major oil customers, took a slight step away from Iranian crude oil following a recent visit by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Tehran estimates there may be at least 8 million barrels of oil in its territorial waters in the Caspian Sea.