Iran Energy Sector Able to Attract Huge Foreign Investment: Former Manager
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran's energy sector has enough capacity to attract investment both from China and western countries, a former Iranian oil official said on Monday.
“The investment opportunities in the Iranian oil industry are so high that even if the Chinese (oil companies) made a $25 billion investment, there would still be room for the investments of the western and Iranian private sector companies,” former managing director of the National Iranian Oil Company Ahmad Ghalebani told Tasnim News Agency.
The Head of Iranian Parliament’s Planning and Budget Commission Gholam Reza Mesbahi Moqaddam said yesterday that some Chinese companies are willing to invest some $25 billion in Iran's oil industry and added that the Chinese firms are waiting to find Iranian partners to invest in 15 oil projects in the country.
The MP described the Chinese proposal an ideal opportunity for Iran, suggesting that the government with the help of the private sector pave the way for the Chinese investors.
Ghalebani echoed comments by the lawmaker, saying that the Chinese firms’ $25 investment proposal in Iranian oil industry is a great opportunity for Iran.
US oil firms have been barred by Washington from Iran for nearly two decades. The United States has also kept Europe's oil majors out of Iran with the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act, which required Washington to impose sanctions on foreign companies that invested more than $20 million a year in its energy sector.
Ghalebani said on September 15 that the country succeeded to attract $1.5 billion of foreign and local investment for energy projects each month over the past two years.
“Over the past two years, the NIOC has attracted a monthly average of $1.5bln in foreign and domestic investment, which it has used for diverse projects, particularly in South Pars (gas filed).”
The South Pars gas field, whose development has been divided into 28 phases, is located in the Persian Gulf straddling the maritime border between Iran and Qatar. It is estimated that the Iranian section of the field contains 14 trillion cubic meters of gas and 18 billion barrels of condensates in place.
Some days ago, Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh wrote on his Facebook page that major foreign oil companies have expressed hope for intensive cooperation with Iran's National Oil Company after the sanctions against the country are lifted.
He also wrote that the representatives of these companies have contacted Iran's officials and held talks with them regarding the return to Iran's oil industry.