Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 20
By Rahim Zamanov - Trend:
The oil ministry plans to turn the National Iranian Drilling Company into a holding consisting of smaller companies in order to effect privatisation, the managing director of NICD, Roknoddin Javadi, said on December 20, the Mehr News Agency reported.
"Currently half the country's drilling operations are carried out by the private sector," he said.
"By not privatising the company would be to affect its performance negatively," Javadi explained.
The National Iranian Oil Company announced in October that 30 per cent of NIDC's shares will be distributed among Iranians in the framework of Justice Shares. Some 35 per cent of the company's shares will also be transferred to the state-owned Ta'avon Bonyad.
It was reported on December 10 that Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar had halted the process of privatisation of the two government-owned companies, National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company and Manufacturing Support and Oil Products Procurement Company, the Mehr News Agency reported.
According to Zanganeh, the government is not in favour of denationalising the National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company.
The managing director of Manufacturing Support and Oil Products Procurement Company, Ezatollah Akbari, also said that the process of privatisation of the firm has been postponed to at least the next calendar year (starting March 21. 2014).
The European Union recently blacklisted the company.
Recent reports suggest that even the shares of some of the privatised petrochemical companies and refineries will return to the oil ministry.
It was reported on November 3 that Iran's Oil Ministry had the highest share of privatisation among eight Iranian ministries over the past eight years, with a 46.6 per cent share of the total.
According to the Iranian Privatisation Organisation, the Education Ministry had the lowest amount of denationalisation, with just 0.01 per cent of the total, the Mehr News Agency reported.
According to the report, 1,493,542 billion rials, about $600 billion based on the US official exchange rate of 24,900 rials of state shares have been transferred since 2005, of which 694,259 billion rials, about $278 billion have been related to the Oil Ministry.