Iran plans to absorb $ 70b for oil and gas industry

Iran plans to absorb $ 70 billion for its oil and gas industry, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said on Saturday.The Oil Ministry has prepared a roadmap for investment in the oil and gas industry for the next 8 years, IRNA quoted Zanganeh as saying.

The main priority will be placed on completing semi-finished projects in joint oil and gas fields, especially the development of the South Pars gas field, he explained.Expansion of petrochemical units and refineries will be the second priority in order to prevent from selling crude oil, he said.

Earlier this week, Zanganeh said Iran has begun talks with potential investors in its energy industry, after Tehran struck a nuclear deal that may help western oil giants move back into the country someday, according to the Financial Times.

Iran and six world powers reached a deal on Sunday to curb Tehran’s nuclear program, in exchange for limited sanctions relief, but strict U.S. and European Union bans on investments in its creaking energy sector remain firmly in place.

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But Zanganeh told the FT he had already met with European companies and “indirectly” with U.S. groups to prepare for the day when they might be allowed back in by their governments.These companies were among those he hoped to attract back to work in the country if sanctions were lifted.

Iran’s share of the world’s largest gas field remains a major attraction for European oil and gas majors that were working on the huge field that Iran calls South Pars before U.S. sanctions drove them away.

“Definitely, yes, we will go back, when and if the sanctions are lifted,” the chief executive of Total, Christophe de Margerie, told a news conference in Abu Dhabi in early November. “(But) we will not make a single move until this period starts.”

European Union (EU) officials said on Monday some sanctions on Iran might be relaxed in December, but it could be January before the necessary legislative changes are made.

Iran holds the world’s third-largest proven oil reserves and the second-largest natural gas reserves, and plans to use foreign companies for various oil and gas related projects.The country’s total in-place oil reserves have been estimated at more than 560 billion barrels, with about 140 billion barrels of extractable oil.Moreover, heavy and extra heavy varieties of crude oil account for roughly 70-100 billion barrels of the total reserves.

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