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Majlis Speaker Underpins Petroleum Investments

Any upheaval in the oil sector would affect other economic sectors.Any upheaval in the oil sector would affect other economic sectors.

The ruling establishment will back any effort that will help Iran  develop its key petroleum industry, Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani said on Saturday.

“The establishment is willing to support anyone who genuinely seeks to contribute to and invest in Iran's energy sector," Larijani said on the sidelines of the 22nd Iran International Oil, Gas, Refining and Petrochemical Exhibition in Tehran.

"Developing the oil, gas and petrochemical industries is an integral part of our declared economic policy," the top lawmaker was quoted by news outlets as saying.

Experts assert that international oil majors are unwilling to invest in Iran's lucrative hydrocarbon projects unless they are assured that rules and regulations will not change as per the wish and whim of vested interests.

Larijani noted that raising the extraction rate of oil and gas fields is high on Tehran's priority list, adding that under President Hassan Rouhani's administration, concerted efforts have been made to shore up production in both the southern and western regions. Underscoring the need to attract private investments in petrochemical projects, the senior lawmaker said, "The Majlis has a positive and collaborative approach toward the oil, gas and petrochemical sectors and will pass legislation to help facilitate funding for energy infrastructure."

Any upheaval in the oil sector, as the driver of growth, would affect other economic sectors, Larijani acknowledged. "We should tap into our (oil and gas) resources by attracting (foreign) investment and technology."

Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, the oil minister, said on Thursday that the lifting of sanctions in January 2016 gave a fresh lifeline to the struggling oil sector as Tehran aims to invest heavily in upstream projects by raising foreign direct investment.

Under the sanctions regime, Iran's oil production plunged to 2.5 million barrels per day from nearly 4 million bpd and exports slid to just above 1 million barrels daily.  Iran wants to raise $200 billion to fulfill its oil and gas ambitions in the mid-term.

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