Iran ramps up efforts to receive more foreign investment in its energy sector by naming five domestic companies to work as partners with international majors, says a report.
The deputy head of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), Gholamreza Manouchehri, has told the Financial Times that Petroiran Development Co., along with Petropars and the Mapna Group, is on the current list, which is yet to be finalized.
The two other companies are said to be Oil Industries Engineering and Construction group (OIEC), an oil contractor, and the Industrial Development and Renovation Organization of Iran (IDRO) – a conglomerate active throughout Iran’s economy.
The FT report said the Islamic Republic was thus taking a step closer to opening up its oil and gas fields to international investment.
Petroiran is an NIOC subsidiary and tasked with onshore and offshore development.
Petropars has already signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with one German company and held talks with foreign investors.
Mapna is an Iranian power and infrastructure group. It signed an agreement with Siemens in March that will see the German company provide two gas turbines to a power plant in the southern port of Bandar Abbas, FT added.
The names of the companies has been eagerly awaited by international energy companies such as BP, Total and Eni, as they hope to gain access to the OPEC member’s oil and gas reserves after years of sanctions. Anti-Iran sanctions were lifted in January in the aftermath of last July’s nuclear agreement that put curbs on Iranian nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.
Iran’s Petroleum Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said last week that the country, once the second largest OPEC producer, expected to sign the first post-sanctions oil contract with a foreign company within three months.
Iran, which has the world’s fourth-largest oil reserves and second biggest gas reserves, has recently almost doubled oil exports to more than two million barrels per day (bpd) since January.
Tehran seeks to attract almost $200 billion of foreign investment to boost production by at least 600,000bpd within the next five years.
By Press TV