TEHRAN: Deputy oil minister, while pointing to dissolution of two NIGC subsidiaries, said they will be liquidated due to their non-economic activities. Managing Director of National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) Hamidreza Araghi expounded on details of dissolving Natural Gas Storage Company (NGSC) and Iranian Gas Commercial Company (IGCC) saying “before finalizing the decision on their liquidation, talks have been held with Iranian Privatization Organization (IPO) for handing over the two subsidiaries of NIGC.” The official stressed that missions of the two firms had no economic justification asserting “given that privatizing the two companies would prove unattractive, decisions were made to dissolve them.” He emphasized that liquidation of NGSC and IGCC had been put on the agenda though no exact date has been envisaged for the process; “in the current situation, the legal process is underway for dissolution of the two gas companies.” Araghi stressed that Assembly Affairs Department of NIGC had been put in charge of dissolving the two firms though NIGC is not in favor of the initiative and hopes the process will be canceled.
Following liquidation of National Iranian Gas Export Company (NIGEC) in November 2016, NGSC and IGCC mark the second and third gas companies to become dissolved. Duties and responsibilities of these terminated companies will be transferred to and handled by the National Iranian Oil Company under a new management entitled ‘gas exports’. On the other hand, in accordance with the new structural changes, issues related to natural gas exports through pipelines will be carried out by NIGC while liquefied natural gas exports will be handled by NIOC. Earlier in October, as per a directive issued by Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh, the National Iranian Gas Export Company was liquidated and handed over to the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC). Earlier reports had said the NIGEC was supposed to be privatized. “It was meaningless to privatize NIGEC that is why its tasks have been delegated to the NIOC,” Zanganeh said. On the contract signed between Oman and NIGEC to lay a 400-kilometer subsea gas pipeline from Iran to the neighboring sultanate, the minister said NIOC will follow up on the project.