As a founding member of OPEC, Iran is a major worldwide supplier of petroleum. Underneath its 1,648,000 square kilometers lies some of the richest oil deposits in the world with more than 130 billion barrels of oil, which gives Iran the third most oil reserves in the world. Iran's huge onshore oil fields account for most of its oil, and more fields are still being discovered.
Much of the oil that Iran has gets processed and exported. Iran has a refining capacity of 1,566,000 barrels per day for crude oil, of which 461,600 barrels per day are exported. The revenue Iran generated from 2006 exports place it as not only a leading country in OPEC, but as a leading export of oil in the entire world. In 2006, the estimated total value of all of Iran's exports was estimated to be around $63 billion. In the same year alone, $59.13 billion of the export revenues were accounted received through petroleum exports, which amounted to more than 2 million barrels being exported everyday.
What allows Iran to export so much oil are the huge oil fields that are located in the country, both onshore and off. Iran's 52 onshore rotary rigs and 9 offshore rigs account for a total of 138.40 billion barrels of proven oil reserves and 26,850 billion cubic meters of natural gas that is still waiting for extraction and then exportation. These reserves allowed Iran to produce 4,073,000 barrels per day of crude oil and 105 billion cubic meters of natural gas in 2006.
The economic earnings from the petroleum industry has increased the quality of life in Iran. With a population of 69.48 million people in 2006, Iran's GDP per capita was more than $3,000.