Iran optimistic about return of giant international oil firms to country
Tehran, Iran, June 21
By Milad Fashtami - Trend:
Iran is negotiating with giant international oil companies.
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said that the ministry is optimistic about the return of these companies to the country's oil and gas sector, Iran's Mehr News Agency reported.
"The United States keeps hindering Iran oil industry's progress," he said, adding that Tehran cannot use its full capacity in the oil and gas industry due to these obstacles.
Zanganeh previously said that Iran supports all those who want to invest in the Iranian oil sector truthfully.
Iranian oil industry has proved to be able to sustain even during the hard times, Iran's ISNA quoted Zanganeh as saying on May 6.
"We are seriously after getting rid of rent-seeking in the oil industry," he added.
With some of the world's biggest oil and gas reserves, the industry is the cornerstone of Iran's economy. However, it was heavily hit by an American and European embargo on the energy and banking sectors in 2012, AFP reported.
Major energy firms have since left or been stifled from doing business because of economic sanctions imposed as punishment for the country's disputed nuclear programme.
Since an interim agreement with the P5+1 group of Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany came into effect in January, Iran has been allowed to maintain its oil exports at around 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd).
Despite such numbers being higher than in recent years, Iran's oil exports are a fraction of what they were before sanctions - the country was shipping 2.5 million bpd of crude abroad in late 2011.
President Hassan Rouhani and Oil Minister Zanganeh have said in recent months Iran would benefit from the investment and technology transfer that international oil companies can deliver.