TEHRAN: Deputy oil minister said gas export to neighboring countries remained a high priority for Iran who is ready to resume gas sale talks with Kuwait and other Persian Gulf states.
Iranian Deputy Oil Minister for International Affairs Amir Hossein Zamaninia touched upon Iran’s policies and stances towards gas exports to Persian Gulf littoral states saying “shipment of natural gas to neighboring countries remains as a top priority for Iran.” The official said export of gas to neighboring states, India and China had a higher priority than to European countries asserting “given the rise in the country’s output capacity, the possibility exists to deploy as portion of the produced gas to applicant countries.” He further pointed to resumption of gas exports to Kuwait voicing Iran’s readiness to resume relevant talks with the Arab state though ground for bilateral negotiation in gas sector had to be provided. Since last year, the talks with certain Persian Gulf south littoral states over exports of natural gas have been locked in a stalemate.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani left Tehran for Muscat on Wednesday morning at the official invitation of Sultan of Oman Qaboos bin Said Al Said though he will travel to Kuwait in later hours of Wednesday to meet with Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah. On the other hand, Iran has begun talks with Oman over exports of at least 10 billion cubic meters of natural gas and certain agreements have been also reached between the two sides over construction of a subsea pipeline. Meanwhile, speaking on the sideline of a meeting with his Omani counterpart Mohammed Al Rumhi last week in Tehran, Iran’s Minister of Oil Bijan Zanganeh said the pipeline for gas exports to Oman will circumvent territorial waters of Qatar and is estimated to cost about 1.2 billion dollars.