Iran to focus on indigenisation of oil and gas industry

Sep 24, 2005 02:00 AM

The indigenisation of the oil and gas industry is the most important issue being emphasized by the new government and, in particular, the incumbent Acting Director of the Oil Ministry Kazem Vaziri Hamaneh.
Preliminary steps in domesticating the oil industry was first taken after the Majlis ratified a law according to which domestic companies’ share in the oil operations should not be less than 51 %, an oil analyst said.

Ali Akbar Al Aqa added, however, maximum use of the Iranian workforce and potentials has turned into one of the important topics in the Fourth Socio-economic and Cultural Development Plan regarding the oil and gas industry.
Despite the fact that Iran’s oil industry is now 100 years old, Iranian policy makers have been late in taking the issue into consideration, but it could be said that by taking part in the oil projects and establishing oil consortiums in cooperation with major foreign companies, Iranian companies have made good accomplishments, he asserted. Al Aqa alsomaintained that, according to many experts in the field, Iranian companies’ share in the country’s oil projects has exceeded the envisaged 51 %.

Given the fact that no industry is expected to be economical from the very start, the same applies to Iran’s oil industry and the fledgling policy of employing domestic potentials, Al Aqa also said. He noted that, in order to be able to achieve the required competence, the Iranian companies should be given more freedom to act by the support of the government.
Meanwhile, Iranian contractor companies are of other view. They maintain that whenever the foreign companies are in charge of the projects, they make a lot of their purchases from their own countries and not surprisingly, the project managers leave their hands open in conducting the project in their own.

As long as the foreign companies freely sell their products in Iran, they would continue to make the situation tighter for domestic companies as a result; thus the goal would not be accomplished, said Reza Khayamian.
He also complained that while they verbally stress domestication of the oil industry, unfortunately, when it comes to the purchase of equipment they turn to foreign companies.

Source: PIN/MNA
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