He said the petrochemical industry had the highest number of projects
with 20, followed by the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) with 15.
“We have not neglected investment in this strategic and driving
industry of the national economy, despite the difficult conditions of sanctions
and the problems caused by them, such as difficulty in financing or supplying
some sensitive and complex equipment,” he said.
He said another 15 new projects worth $14.3 billion would start
construction this year, bringing the total value of investment in the oil
sector to $28.8 billion.
He said the projects aimed to increase oil and gas production,
refining capacity, petrochemical output and oil products.
The oil sector accounted for 15.4% of Iran’s economic growth in the
autumn of 2020, he said, adding that investment in this sector had the highest
return for the national economy and should not be interrupted.
Iran’s oil industry is one of its main sources of foreign currency
earnings, along with petrochemicals, but has been hit by U.S. sanctions that
have reduced its crude exports.
Iran and six powers have been in talks since April to revive a 2015
nuclear deal that former U.S. President Donald Trump abandoned five years ago,
reimposing sanctions that have crippled Iran’s economy.