Sunday, June 26, 2005

Reuters | Latest Financial News / Full News Coverage

Reuters | Latest Financial News / Full News Coverage: "
Ahmadinejad vows to favour locals in Iran oil deals

Sun June 26, 2005 5:00 PM GMT+02:00
TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran will flush out corruption from the country's oil industry and favour domestic investors in the underdeveloped hydrocarbons sector, Iranian president-elect Mahmoud Ahmadinejad vowed on Sunday.

He has previously promised to cut the hands off the "mafias" he says run the oil business in OPEC's number two producer and has made a pledge to distribute Iran's oil wealth more fairly.

He declined to say whether he planned to remove reformist President Mohammad Khatami's oil minister, Bijan Zanganeh, when he takes office in August.

"Fighting bureaucratic corruption in all sectors, including oil, is part of a definite policy for our government," he told reporters at a news conference.

"In all fields, including oil, priority will be given to local investors," he added.

Iran's oil industry is currently run by the state National Iranian Oil Company which has given small deals to foreign firms such as Total and Shell.

Analysts say that Iran's oil industry is in dire need of investment as it struggles to maintain production at old oilfields and plans to branch out into the high-technology liquefied natural gas sector."