Riyadh: Iran has said U.S sanctions will not hurt its oil investment plans and it was on course to raise crude output to 4.5 million barrels per day in next two years.
“We are not worried about it (US sanctions)... our investment plans will not be affected,” Iranian Oil Minister Gholamhossein Nozari told reporters on the sidelines of the third OPEC Summit here.
He said Iran needs $15 billion investment annually. “We have means of getting these.”
Iran plans to raise crude oil production capacity from current 4.3 million barrels per day to 4.5 million barrels per day in two years, he said. The planned increase will come from the Azadegan, Darkhovin and Behregansar oil fields.
Iran, the second largest oil producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, is currently producing 4.1 million barrels per day of oil as per OPEC quota, he said.
Nozari said U.S sanctions will not hurt Iran’s efforts to attract international companies. “There are so many others that are willing to do projects in Iran.”
U.S has imposed economic sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programme. Tehran has denied harbouring nuclear weapon ambition and U.S sanctions will continue to serve as a deterrant to international oil companies from investing in Iran’s energy sector.
Iran prefers to “have the cooperation of international oil companies” in projects to help it pay for the cost of developing its energy infrastructure, Nozari said. “If this takes time, we will do it ourselves.”
The Islamic nation has got Italy’s Eni to operate the Darkhovin oil field and is in discussions with Total of France and Royal Dutch/Shell for gas projects. It is building a 1,500-km pipeline linking the Caspian Sea to the Persian Gulf at a cost of two billion dollars.