A leading Iranian MP has indicated the scale of investment needed in Iran’s oil industry — and thus the need for a nuclear agreement and the removal of US-led sanctions — to maintain and expand output and exports.
“The petroleum industry needs $50 billion in investment annually for development and preservation of the current situation,” Amir-Abbas Soltani, the secretary of Parliament’s Energy Committee, said.
He expressed optimism about attraction of investment into the petroleum industry. Saying that the bulk should go to the South Pars gas field in southern Iran, he said companies from South Korea, Japan, US, and Europe had been invited to participate.
Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh has been pursuing discussions for months with foreign companies, seeking investment as soon as sanctions are lifted. He said this week that he was in talks with more than 30 firms.
Almost all foreign involvement in Iran’s oil and gas fields was terminated in 2010, with the tightening of sanctions. Even Russian firms have withdraw, and multi-billion-dollar contracts with Chinese companies were terminated when they did not deliver on the terms.
Iran and the 5+1 Powers (US, Britain, France, Germany, China, and Russia) are in negotiations in Vienna seeking a comprehensive nuclear deal by June 30. On Monday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met British, French, and German counterparts, as well as the EU’s head of foreign policy Federica de Mogherini, in Luxembourg.