The Islamic Republic aims to become a major regional gas trading platform to counter US sanctions
Iran is seeking to create a gas hub in cooperation with the country's Eurasian trade partners, Oil Minister Javad Owji announced on Wednesday. The move is part of Tehran's efforts to strengthen regional cooperation and enhance its position on the global energy market.
Iran is one of the largest oil and gas producers in the world, selling most of its energy to Asian markets despite the threat of US secondary sanctions. The new project is planned for the Asaluyeh region of the southern Bushehr province.
"Having 33 trillion cubic meters of gas reserves and thanks to the cooperation of Turkmenistan, Russia and Qatar, we are trying to become a gas hub," the minister told reporters, insisting that the conditions were in place to achieve that goal.
The statement comes as Tehran has stepped up energy purchases from neighboring Turkmenistan, with the capacity to import between 40 and 50 million cubic meters of gas daily. Iran's major gas fields are concentrated in the south, necessitating imports from its northern neighbor, particularly in the winter.
Iran has also strengthened energy cooperation with Russia, which, according to Owji, could assist in the Islamic Republic's energy hub ambitions. The two countries have joint investments in exploration and production, technology swap agreements, and a deal to jointly build oil pipelines from Iran to Oman and Pakistan. Last month, Tehran and Moscow sealed two major cooperation agreements and eight memorandums of understanding covering everything from energy and technology to the creation of a joint market.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandr Novak recently revealed that the two sides were discussing the creation of an electronic gas trading platform in southern Iran. According to Novak, Russia and Iran have continued to expand energy cooperation, with Russia's Gazprom considering joint development of the Kish and North Pars fields with Iran, followed by a project for liquefying gas and supplying it to world markets.
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