An Iranian Oil Ministry veteran has been named as the CEO of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) amid plans by the firm to recapture its share of the international markets by restoring production to levels seen before the United States imposed its sanctions on Iran in 2018.
Mohsen Khojasteh-Mehr was appointed as deputy oil minister and managing director of the NIOC on Wednesday, according to a statement published by the Oil Ministry’s news service Shana.
In his appointment decree, Iran’s Oil Minister Javad Owji said that the new NIOC chief will be responsible for increasing output capacity for oil and gas with a focus on South Pars gas field which is shared between Iran and Qatar in the Persian Gulf and oilfields shared with Iraq in southwest Iran.
Khojasteh-Mehr replaces Masoud Karbasian, a lifelong technocrat who had served for decades in key posts in the Iranian governments.
Khojasteh-Mehr has a PhD in hydrocarbon reservoirs from Iran’s Amirkabir University of Technology, which is generally known in the West as Tehran Polytechnic.
His most senior positions in the Oil Ministry include serving as deputy minister for planning and leading the Tadbir Drilling Development Company (TDDC), a post he has been holding for the past years.
The NIOC is one of the largest oil companies in the world with nearly $200 billion worth of assets as per estimates published in 2012.
The company oversees large-scale operations in the Iranian petroleum sector and controls major refineries across the country.
Iran’s Oil Ministry hopes NIOC can swiftly increase its output to 3.8 million barrels per day if US removes its sanctions from Iran in case the two countries and other world powers can revive a 2015 international agreement on Tehran’s nuclear program.