Iran is offering crude oil in exchange for goods or investments in its oil industry, oil minister Javad Owji told Iranian TV, as quoted by Bloomberg.
The plan has yet to be approved by the Iranian parliament, Owji said. It remained unspecified whether it was targeting local or foreign investors. The overall sentiment, however, is optimistic, thanks to the latest developments on the oil and gas markets that favor oil producers.
The plan to attract investments in oil and gas in exchange for output follows another announcement made by Iran's new oil minister last month. In it, Owji said Iran planned to attract some $145 billion in local and foreign investments in its fossil fuel industry.
"We plan to invest $145 billion in the development of the upstream and downstream oil industry over the next four to eight years, hence I welcome the presence of domestic and foreign investors in the industry," Owji said during a meeting with executives from China's Sinopec.
China is Iran's biggest trade partner and one of the very few countries still importing some crude oil from Iran despite the U.S. sanctions against the Islamic Republic's oil exports and oil industry. It is also the world's biggest oil importer.
Meanwhile, the prospects of Iran shaking off U.S. sanctions remain uncertain. This weekend, the Islamic Republic's foreign minister, Hossein Amirabdollahian, said Iran placed a priority on verifying that U.S. sanctions will be lifted once talks resumed again.
"Of course, we will soon return to the Vienna talks and we are keeping our eyes on the issue of verification and receiving the necessary guarantees for the implementation of commitments by the Western parties," Amirabdollahian told Iranian media, as quoted by Reuters.
At the same time, however, "Given the pace of its nuclear advancements, Iran is nearing the point at which the nuclear deal's nonproliferation benefits will be unrecoverable without major changes to the accord, at which Tehran would balk," said analysts from Eurasia Group, as quoted by CNBC.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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