TEHRAN, April 19 (UPI) -- A private bank in Iran will be established to help fund domestic developments in the energy sector, the Iranian oil minister said.
Western pressure on Tehran for its controversial nuclear program has persuaded several major oil and gas companies to stop doing business with Iran.
Iran said it would take measures to privatize its refining and oilfield services sector to offset potential problems from the Western-backed sanctions.
Iranian Oil Minister Massoud Mir Kazemi said Tehran aims to set up a new private oil bank to help fund domestic developments, the Iranian Oil Ministry's Petroenergy Information Network reports.
"The establishment of the Oil Industry Bank aims to give the private sector a more active role in the (oil) industry and to provide new capital for taking on projects, especially low-stream oil projects," he said.
Kazemi said in March that Iran needed $200 billion in investments in the energy sector during the next five years in order to avoid declines in production.
The minister said a working group was set up to hasten the development of the oil bank.