Iran to set up intl. oil investment fund: minister

December 18, 2007

TEHRAN (PIN) – Iran’s Oil Minister Gholamhossein Nozari said the setup of the South Pars International Investment Fund was undergoing the outlining process.

He told PIN all countries could become members of the fund, however adding the Persian Gulf littoral states would be given first priority.
“We could sell stakes to our people and neighboring states in lucrative South Pars projects or motivate them to participate in the plans by setting the minimum banking interest when the outlining of different stages of South Pars Investment Fund ends,” Pars Special Economic Energy Zone Organization quoted the minister as saying.
“South Pars projects particularly LNG projects are profitable, luring people as well as domestic and overseas investors.”
Nozari assessed international boycotts on investment in Iran as ineffective and said, “To me, boycotts damage only the states that impose them as they are deprived of presence in Iran’s unique market.”
The minister added the country’s new policy on Asian states would help remove problems facing investment in the oil projects.
He assured that development plans would not be postponed under any conditions even for one day.
China has been the biggest foreign investor in Iran during 2000-2007 followed by France and Germany, according to the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) data on foreign investments in the Islamic state by major industrial countries.
China, Iran’s largest trade partner, invested at least $101.74 billion in the country during the seven years.
Reuters quoted the U.S.-based conservative think thank as saying that the information was obtained from corporate reports and websites, periodicals, and other databases.
The Asian giant’s investments in petrochemical, gas, and oil industries totaled $96.7 billion during the period.
To fuel its over 11.9 percent economic growth, the nation of 1.3 billion people is buying all the oil it can from world markets and through bilateral energy development deals with producers and exporters in the Middle East and Africa.
China is the world’s second-largest oil consumer.
Iran with the world’s second-largest known oil reserves is an important energy supplier for China and has signed multibillion-dollar energy contracts with that country in the past two years.
The latest of such investments in Iran’s oil and gas development projects was made last Sunday.
National Iranian Oil Company and China Petroleum and Chemical Corp., Sinopec, signed a two-billion-dollar agreement for the development of onshore Yadavaran oilfield in southern Khuzestan Province.
Chinese investors also invested $620 million in banking, finance, export credit agencies; $3.38 billion in construction, power, and energy and $1.08 billion in the transportation sector.
France, the second investor in Iran among industrialized nations, invested at least $29.9 billion during 2000-2007 of which $18.5 billion are in petrochemical, gas, and oil industries.
French oil giant Total is among major European companies to have undertaken projects in the country’s oil and gas sectors.
French entrepreneurs invested $9.2 billion in banking, finance, export credit agencies; $1.15 billion in construction, power, and energy; $480 million in telecommunications and $600 million in the transportation sector.
Germany invested $25.4 billion in Iran during the seven years, of which $9.82 is in petrochemical, gas, and oil fields and $2.14 billion in banking, finance, and export credit agencies.
Investments in construction, power, and energy sectors totaled $3.38 billion, telecommunications $245 million and transportation $9.86.
The report added that the biggest Germany-Iran project is $9.14-billion deal in 2007 to construct a Maglev railway line to connect the capital Tehran to the northeastern city of Mashhad.
Italy, Iran’s third trade partner, invested $24.7 billion, while country’s second trade partner Japan made close to $16.9 billion in investments.
Russian, British, and American investors made $3.75 billion, $12.7 billion, and $3.6 billion investments respectively.