Iran plans to open economic gateways to foreign investment

August 21,  The Iran Project – The 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers turned Iran into an attractive destination for foreign investment and as a pioneering sector, oil industry could take advantage of it.

Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh in a televised interview on Sunday (Aug 20) said that absorbing finances and technology, and enhancing crude production will continue to be a top priority for the country’s oil ministry.

He classified his career into short-term and four-year plans saying “first and foremost, the oil contracts will be dealt with in a bid to attract foreign finance and know-how both for developing joint fields and boosting recovery in existing fields.

Iran needs at least $200 billion in fresh investments and state-of-the-art technologies in its oil and gas sector.

Meanwhile, several top Iranian officials believe that opening doors to foreign investment is the only way to achieve Iran’s ambitious goals in the petrochemical industry in particular.

“In the upstream and downstream sectors, we need huge investments that cannot be provided by domestic financial resources, including from the National Development Fund of Iran,” Abbas Sheri-Moqadam, ex-director of state-owned National Petrochemical Company, also quoted as saying by ILNA on Sunday.

He added that the only solution to develop the petrochemical industry is by attracting foreign investment.

Tehran says its new petrochemical ventures require over $70 billion in investments. Sheri-Moqadam said the state-owned petrochemical entity has made efforts to employ cutting-edge technology in domestic petrochemical ventures, but a lack of advanced foreign know-how has deterred development.

It should be noted that Tehran’s recent gas deal with the French oil and gas giant Total on developing South Pars Gas Field’s Phase 11, the world’s largest gas field, has encouraged other foreign majors to enter the lucrative industry.

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

Central Bank of Iran (CBI) issued a report on August 17 indicating that the 11th government could absorb some dlrs. 11.8 billion in foreign investments.

The investments were made in some 36 projects that will be injected gradually in line with the progress of the projects, the report said.