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Iran to seek foreign investment in oil, gas industries at Davos

TEHRAN, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- Iran will urge oil giants to invest in its oil and gas industries at the ongoing World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, local media quoted the oil minister as saying on Thursday.

Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, who has participated in the World Economic Forum, is scheduled to negotiate with international firms to lure investment in Iran's oil and gas projects, Tehran Times daily reported.

Before leaving Tehran for Davos on Wednesday, Zanganeh said that he would meet with senior officials of big international oil and gas companies to outline the new situation after the implementation of the Geneva deal on Iran's nuclear program and to invite them to return to Iran's oil market.

Since the new government took office, the Oil Ministry has focused efforts on regaining Iran's status in the international markets, Zanganeh was also quoted as saying by Iran Daily on Thursday.

"It is expected that with the implementation of the contents of the (Geneva) agreement, Iran will reclaim its rights, particularly in oil and gas sectors," he said, adding that to this end, "We intend to discuss the issue with the companies face to face in the Davos meeting."

Earlier, Lord Lamont, the head of Britain-Iran Chamber of Commerce, also said Zanganeh had invited Shell and British Petroleum for cooperation. Major oil companies left Iran in the past years after the West put sanctions on Iran's oil and gas industries over the country's sensitive nuclear program.

On the sidelines of OPEC's ministerial meeting in Vienna in early December 2013, Zanganeh said Tehran would like to see seven oil giants, including France's Total, Royal Dutch Shell, Norway's Statoil, Italy's Eni, British Petroleum as well as U.S. Exxon and Conoco make investment in Iran's energy sector once the international sanctions are lifted, according to Tehran Times.

"We will do anything necessary to get back Iran's share in the oil market," Zanganeh said, emphasizing that "Contacts have been made (with foreign energy companies) to that effect and all of them are willing to return."

Iran and six world powers reached a deal on Nov. 24 to curb Tehran's nuclear program, in exchange for limited sanctions relief.

In December, Zanganeh said the Oil Ministry had prepared a roadmap for investment in the oil and gas industry for the next eight years and it had plans to attract 70 billion U.S. dollars for investments in its oil and gas industry.