EghtesadOnline: Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh says investors will not be convinced to invest in Iran's lucrative hydrocarbon sector unless they are confident that rules and regulations will not be the function of whims and fancies.
"Oil majors lose appeal when they see frequent changes in Iran's insurance, customs and tax regulations. That is why not only the government but also the judiciary and ministries should help pave the way for attracting foreign investments" Zanganeh was quoted as saying by IRNA.
Expressing hope to attract larger investments in the energy industries, especially the petrochemical sector, Zanganeh stressed on supporting new investors by assuring them that regulations on investments are reliable and long-term. Regarding other contributing factors, Iranian oil experts including Mehran Amir Moeini, the head of department of energy economics studies at the Institute for International Energy Studies, an affiliate of the Oil Ministry, believe that political stability is also key to foreign investors' interest and undoubtedly Iran is among the safest countries in the Middle East that is plagued with turmoil and terrorism.
Pointing to the 120 million tons yearly production of petrochemicals envisaged in the sixth economic development plan (2017-22), the minister noted that meeting such a tall order requires $50 to $70 billion in new investments, a major part of which should come from foreign sources, Financial Tribune reported.
Iran's petrochemical production in the previous fiscal (ended March 20) exceeded 42 million tons, according to latest reports.
According to Zanganeh, the petrochemical industry has a promising future. Furthermore, the newly developed phases of the giant South Pars Gas Field will generate the feedstock for petrochemical plants.
South Pars phases are also producing ethylene and methanol in addition to ethane needed to manufacture value added products such as polypropylene, a thermoplastic polymer used in a wide variety of applications including, textiles, plastic parts, laboratory equipment, packaging and labeling.