$16b earmarked for oil industry
Iran has allocated over $16 billion from the National Energy Fund to 31 oil projects in the current calendar year to end March 20, 2011.
The Oil Ministry plans to spend $13.6 billion of the credit in oil projects and $2.4 billion in refinery projects, the Mehr News Agency reported.
Iran established an energy fund in February backed by the Central Bank and other Iranian banks to help finance investments in the sector.
"The National Energy Fund, with the help of the resources of four local banks and the Central Bank, has been established to help finance major parts of the oil industry's activities," IRNA news agency quoted Oil Minister Masoud Mirkazemi as saying.
"By using domestic resources we would pave the way for the presence of local firms in oil and gas projects, but at the same time we won't block attracting foreign resources," he said.
"It is necessary to invest in the country's oil and gas development projects, particularly in joint fields with the neighboring states," said Mirkazemi.