Oct. 14 (UPI) -- Iran announced that it has discovered a natural gas field with about $40 billion of condensed gas.
"We have the potential to identify more undiscovered oil and gas reserves by using geophysical exploration techniques and discovery drilling and will definitely add to Iran's national wealth," NIOC Deputy Managing Director Reza Dehghan said in a news conference.
The Eram National Gas Field, as it has been dubbed, is some 124 miles south of the southern Iranian city of Shiraz, and holds up to 19 trillion cubic feet of gas.
The gas deposit was discovered at a depth of almost 13,000 feet and should be under production for some 16 years.
The discovery comes as the United States has been applying a campaign of "maximum pressure" on Iran that includes sweeping sanctions in order to force the country back to the negotiating table over its nuclear program by hobbling its economy.
Iran has repeatedly asked for the sanctions to be removed for talks to resume.