Iran says US com­pa­nies wel­come to in­vest in pe­tro­leum sec­tor

The Pak Banker - - MARKETS/SPORTS -

US com­pa­nies are wel­come to in­vest in Iran's oil and gas in­dus­try, the Ira­nian oil min­is­ter said on Mon­day. State-run Press TV quoted Bi­jan Nam­dar Zan­geneh as say­ing that "in gen­eral, we have no prob­lem with the pres­ence of Amer­i­can com­pa­nies in Iran." He said it is the U.S. govern­ment that is "cre­at­ing re­stric­tions for th­ese com­pa­nies," with­out elab­o­rat­ing. Zan­geneh also con­firmed that Iran's state-run oil com­pany has held talks with Gen­eral Elec­tric.

"Of course, my deputy con­ducted th­ese ne­go­ti­a­tions and when I in­quired about them, it was said that the talks were pos­i­tive," he said. GE said in a state­ment re­spond­ing to ques­tions about the talks that it is con­sid­er­ing pos­si­bly do­ing busi­ness in Iran. "In line with the eas­ing of sanc­tions, we have be­gun look­ing at po­ten­tial busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties in Iran, while fully com­ply­ing with the rules laid out by the U.S. govern­ment," the com­pany said.

The TV re­port said Zan­geneh also asked Siemens ex­ec­u­tives to in­vest in Iran's oil and gas in­dus­try.

"The Ger­man com­pany must come to Iran to build equip­ment and parts needed in our oil in­dus­try and man­u­fac­ture them here," he said.

All sanc­tions re­lated to Iran's nu­clear pro­gram were lifted in Jan­uary un­der a land­mark agree­ment reached with world pow­ers, but the U.S. main­tains sep­a­rate sanc­tions re­lated to Iran's bal­lis­tic mis­sile pro­gram and its sup­port for State Depart­ment-des­ig­nated ter­ror­ist groups.

Iran is try­ing to re­gain its share of the global pe­tro­leum mar­ket af­ter the re­moval of sanc­tions. Saudi Ara­bia, Rus­sia, Venezuela and Qatar floated the idea of a pro­duc­tion cap last month with the aim of boost­ing global oil prices, but it was con­di­tional on other pro­duc­ers join­ing in.

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