Iran’s new oil minister says he’s optimistic about the Southern Pars Oil and Gas Field development after a visit to the sites.

ISNA reports that on Thursday August 22 Bijan Namdar Zanganeh inspected the various phases of the oil and gas field development accompanied by senior deputies and executives of the projects. He announced that development of the oil and gas fields will remain one of the ministry’s priorities.

The Southern Pars Oil and Gas Field is part of a wider gas field shared by Qatar covering an area of 9,700 Sq. Km of which 3,700 Sq. Km. are in Iran,s territorial waters.

The Ministry of Oil is facing serious hurdles handling a sharp decline in oil production due to international sanctions. The fall in oil production has also affected the amount of revenue available to invest in the Southern Pars Oil anf Gas Field development project.

Last week in parliament, the new oil minister pledged to boost the national oil output appointing an ad hoc committee to study the international sanctions and create an action plan to boost oil exports.