Iran to sign at least 17 oil deals before the end of 2011
Ahmad Qalebani, who is also managing director of the National Iranian Oil Company, said the NIOC is planning to sign 20-22 new contracts for development of joint and independent oil fields, Press TV reported.
"Thus far, 6-7 new oil-related contracts have been signed with domestic and foreign contractors," Qalebani said.
The official stated that, at least, 17 contracts for upstream oil industry operations will be signed before the end of the year.
"These contracts are related to the development of [oil and gas] fields, or establishing [necessary] infrastructure for the development of [these] fields, including power plants, pipelines...," he noted.
Qalebani said that Iran's oil industry needs USD 36 billion in investment to implement its development projects in line with the Fifth Economic Development Plan (2011-2015), which requires monthly attraction of USD 3 billion in investment.
The deputy oil minister added that the country's oil production capacity will hit 5.1 million barrels per day by March 2016.
Qalebani stated that Iran's natural gas output would also rise 10 percent during the current year and is expected to increase by 20 percent per year over the next four years.
Iran is OPEC's second largest oil producer and the fourth largest crude oil exporter and has moved in recent years towards becoming a major exporter of refined products. The country holds the world's third-largest proven oil reserves and the second-largest natural gas reserves.
Edited by: S. Isayev