0315 GMT July 21, 2019
The head of IMF in the Mideast Masood Ahmed further told The Associated Press that nations are making efforts to cope with low oil prices, though more needs to be done.
He said oil-producing Mideast countries 'still have some way to go' in reforming the government sector and cutting spending.
Ahmed said that Iran's economy can "move on addressing some of the other restraints in their economy, chief among them is modernizing both its banking system and its manufacturing industry, both of which were affected by sanctions."
The Persian Gulf nation is seeking to boost production at oil and gas fields, and will need about $200 billion over the next four years in energy investments, according to figures provided by Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh on Tuesday.
Iran wants to produce about 4 million barrels of crude a day to regain its pre-sanctions share of the market, Zanganeh said Tuesday. Iran's output was 3.63 million barrels a day in September, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
Talks with investors
Iran is negotiating with 16 international energy companies to help operate and manage 50 oil and natural gas projects to boost production after years of international sanctions.
The projects are feasible even with oil at $40 a barrel, Gholamreza Manouchehri, the deputy director of the National Iranian Oil Co., told reporters in Tehran on Wednesday, reported Bloomberg.
The South Azadegan field on Iran's southwestern border will be the first deal announced, and probably needs $10 billion to add 600,000 barrels a day of output, he said.
"We have a lot of companies approaching NIOC," Manouchehri said. "I'm not sure when we'll sign the first contract. I hope it will be earlier" than a year from now.
Iran is recovering from sanctions that choked off investment in its oil and gas industry. An easing of sanctions in January has allowed the country to ramp up oil exports, to 2 million barrels a day in July from 1.4 million at the end of last year, Joint Organizations Data Initiative data show. Brent crude, the international benchmark, was trading at about $52 a barrel on Wednesday.