Oil Minister has Big Plans for likely Last Term

At the same time, the core challenge in achieving all of the listed targets will be to attract the needed foreign investment and technology. There is no doubt that the signing of the deal with the French Total-led consortium has generated a momentum in the interest of international oil companies (IOCs) to engage the Iranian market.

Notwithstanding, the current political atmosphere and rising tensions between Tehran and Washington may compel a number of IOCs to delay their investment plans for Iran. Indeed, the petroleum sector will require more than $200 billion in investments in the next five years to achieve the mentioned goals. This, in turn, will necessitate massive foreign investment as well as the transfer of technology.

What will help Iran in this process is the fact that it is one of few low-cost oil-producing countries that is offering its projects to IOCs. Low costs, as well as negligible geological risk, are benefits that could overcome the current political risks, but the government has to make sure that all other challenges faced by IOCs in Iran (such as corruption, legal uncertainties, etc.) are reduced to a minimum. Furthermore, one main bottleneck for IOCs has been the financing of projects due to the reluctance of first-tier international banks to engage the Iranian market.

This means that the MoP and other Iranian authorities will have to offer suitable solutions to facilitate the financing and banking transactions related to major investments.

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