Iran Names Oil Company Finance Boss To Top Post As Output Surges

(Bloomberg) -- Iran appointed Ali Kardor to lead the state oil company, promoting him from the role of finance director as the country boosts crude output and seeks more than $100 billion in investment to revive its energy industry.

Kardor replaces Roknoddin Javadi as managing director of National Iranian Oil Co., the oil ministry’s Shana news service reported, citing a decree that Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh signed Sunday. Kardor will also have a seat on the company’s board, Shana reported, without giving a reason for the management change.

Iran is producing and shipping more oil after world powers in January lifted economic sanctions targeting its energy industry. The country has roughly doubled exports since then, Zanganeh said in an interview last week in Vienna. To keep up the momentum, the government is seeking foreign partners at about 70 oil and natural gas fields, which NIOC presented to potential investors in November at a conference in Tehran.

“Turning around Iran’s oil and gas industry is going to be a challenge for anyone in that role,” Edward Bell, commodities analyst at lender Emirates NBD PJSC in Dubai, said Sunday by phone. “They’ve shown that they’re quite capable of raising production so far this year, and whether that lasts or is sustainable depends on bringing in investment.”

As NIOC’s managing director, Kardor will need to solicit bids and award contracts to partners who can provide money and technology to expand Iran’s crude production and build advanced refineries and chemical plants. Potential investors are awaiting approval of a contract model that would apply to ventures with international companies. While the draft contracts need to be revised, the government is confident the first deals will be signed within months, Zanganeh said in an interview with Seda weekly magazine.

To contact the reporter on this story: Anthony DiPaola in Dubai at adipaola@bloomberg.net To contact the editors responsible for this story: Nayla Razzouk at nrazzouk2@bloomberg.net Bruce Stanley, Amy Teibel

Copyright 2016 Bloomberg News.

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