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Zanganeh ... seeking foreign investments in Iran’s oil sector

Zanganeh ... seeking foreign investments in Iran’s oil sector

Iran seeks foreign funds for oil sector

TEHRAN:

Drawing foreign investment for Iran’s oil sector will continue to be a top priority during President Hassan Rouhani’s second term in office, said Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh.

"Attracting foreign investment and technology is a priority for us in the oil industry, whether in shared fields or for increasing the production of oil at fields that are already operational," he said in a live television interview on state TV, Reuters reported.

Zanganeh, who won parliamentary approval to remain oil minister, has been credited for increasing Iran’s crude output since many global sanctions were lifted last year following an international deal on Iran’s nuclear programme.

He has also won praise for a multibillion-dollar deal with France’s Total to develop South Pars, the world’s largest gas field.

Total will be the operator with a 50.1 per cent stake, alongside Chinese state-owned oil and gas company CNPC with 30 per cent and National Iranian Oil Co subsidiary Petropars with 19.9 per cent.

The project will cost up to $5 billion and production is expected to start within 40 months, Iran’s Oil Ministry said in a statement last month. Approximately $3 billion of that will go toward generating work for Iranian companies, Zanganeh said. Some 27 phases of South Pars will be operational by spring of 2019, he added.

Iran needs approximately $200 billion for oil and gas production, development and refineries and roughly 65 to 75 per cent of that needs to come from foreign investment, he said.

Iran is seeking to attract $60 billion in foreign investment for the oil industry by March 2018, Zanganeh said.

Less than 30 per cent of Iran’s 700 billion barrels of oil reserves are currently extractable, according to Zanganeh.

Secretary General of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) Mahammad Sanusi Barkindo, in a letter congratulated Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh on his reappointment.

He wrote in his letter, "On behalf of all of the staff at the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, please permit me, Your Excellency, to wish you ever success in this role over the coming years."

The letter continued: "I have no doubt that the constructive relationship that exists between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Opec will continue to flourish during your tenure. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank you for the personal support that you have given to me since my appointment as secretary general."

President Hassan Rouhani came out in full support of Zanganeh in his speech to the Parliament in which he defended his cabinet picks.

He underlined that the world was already looking up to the veteran Iranian minister who has served in various positions in almost all administrations after Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution.




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