U.S. CAN INVEST
U.S. companies are welcome to invest in Iran's oil and gas industry, the Iranian oil minister said on Sunday.
State-run Press TV quoted Bijan Namdar Zangeneh as saying that "in general, we have no problem with the presence of American companies in Iran."
He said it is the U.S. government that is "creating restrictions for these companies," without elaborating. Zangeneh also confirmed that Iran's state-run oil company has held talks with General Electric.
"Of course, my deputy conducted these negotiations and when I inquired about them, it was said that the talks were positive," he said.
The TV report said Zangeneh also asked Siemens executives to invest in Iran's oil and gas industry.
"The German company must come to Iran to build equipment and parts needed in our oil industry and manufacture them here," he said.
All sanctions related to Iran's nuclear program were lifted in January under a landmark agreement reached with world powers, but the U.S. maintains separate sanctions related to Iran's ballistic missile program and its support for State Department-designated terrorist groups.
Iran is trying to regain its share of the global petroleum market after the removal of sanctions.
Saudi Arabia, Russia, Venezuela and Qatar floated the idea of a production cap last month with the aim of boosting global oil prices, but it was conditional on other producers joining in. Iran, which is eager to jumpstart its oil industry, has so far resisted.
Zangeneh dismissed the idea of a production freeze by Iran as "a joke", according to the TV report. He said Iran will take part in discussions on a possible oil production freeze after its output reaches 4 million barrels per day.
"As long as we have not reached 4 million bpd in production, they should leave us alone," Zangeneh said.
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AN - China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) is willing to invest $3 billion in its existing oil and gas operation in Nigeria, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said on Sunday following a meeting with the Chinese in Abuja.
REUTERS - Production at Libya’s giant Sharara oil field was expected to fall by at least 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) on Saturday after two staff were abducted in an attack by an unknown group, the National Oil Corporation (NOC) said.
IMF - Output grew by 3.8 percent in 2017, underpinned by a resilient non-hydrocarbon sector, with robust implementation of GCC-funded projects as well as strong activity in the financial, hospitality, and education sectors. The banking system remains stable with large capital buffers. Growth is projected to decelerate over the medium term.
IMF - Higher oil prices and short-term portfolio inflows have provided relief from external and fiscal pressures but the recovery remains challenging. Inflation declined to its lowest level in more than two years. Real GDP expanded by 2 percent in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the first quarter of last year. However, activity in the non-oil non-agricultural sector remains weak as lower purchasing power weighs on consumer demand and as credit risk continues to limit bank lending.