SNSC to endorse new oil deals: Oil Min.

News ID: 3949059 -
TEHRAN, Apr. 09 (MNA) – Oil minister has told Parliament open session foreign investments bring in prosperity and economic growth to the country.

Mr. Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, the veteran minister who had served in different administrations as minister of oil, was responding to a question in Parliament open session of Sunday about oil deals awarded to foreign companies. The major criticism by MPs in the Parliament relates to an article in buyback agreements, a mode of deals with oil companies practiced by different governments, as Mr. Zanganeh told Parliament, almost for 22 past years. The latest version of Iran Petroleum Contract (IPC) assigns part of the project to contractors. This, seen by the Principlists as violation of the national governance over natural resources, which Hosseinali Haji Deligani, representing Shahinshahr in the Parliament, raised as a question.

Zanganeh rejected criticisms leveled against buyback agreements; "the new mode of deal has been refined to restrict the possible abuses of natural resources and the deals now had been endorsed by Supreme National Security Council as the top deciding body," he told the Parliament. "The new oil agreements do not violate the article in the Constitution which invests the state with authority to govern over national resources; to improve the rate of return in antiquated wells such as Azadegan, Yaran, and Yadavaran, it is imperative that they should be repaired and updated according to the latest standards of technology," he added.

Zanganeh also denied that foreign companies had had access to sensitive information of the Ministry of Oil; "this should be proved and should not be only a claim on paper. We had to work with foreign companies, and as the number of these companies is relatively low, we are at the restriction that we should trust these companies so that foreign investment comes to country, to bring in economic growth; this has been achieved despite the harshest criticism by the Principlists, to which the Ministry had not responded, just to serve national interests," he emphasized.

Oil minister also believed that foreign companies, if rejected from Iranian projects, would appear on the other side of the border, working in improvement of production of our rivals; "it is not a good idea that a country, which rarely had produced a million barrels, now emulates us and exceeds us in crude production; foreign companies are not threat, but bring in assets and thus improvement in economy," he told the Parliament.

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