TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian oil minister said a major boost to the country’s gas exports is high on the agenda of his ministry, and added that a second gas deal with neighboring Iraq will be signed in the near future.
“Iraq calls for an increase in gas imports from Iran, and the second agreement on gas exports from Iran to Iraq will be signed soon,” Bijan Namdar Zanganeh told Tasnim on Monday.
The oil minister also stated that his organization considers a significant boost to the export of gas as a high priority, noting that Iran seeks to have a greater share in global gas trade.
“Regional countries ask for energy exchange with Iran, and Iran has also the capacity to meet their need, especially in providing gas,” Zanganeh added.
Earlier on July 21, Iranian and Iraqi oil ministers signed the first deal to transfer Iran’s natural gas to two Iraqi power plants.
The agreement was signed by former Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qassemi in a special ceremony held in the Iraqi capital city of Baghdad.
The project is aimed at supplying Al-Baghdad and Al-Mansouriyah power plants in Iraq with 25 million cubic meters (mcm) per day of natural gas.
Iran says the new exports will earn the country nearly $3.7bln a year.
Despite being one of the largest exporters of oil, Iraq needs Iran to fill the shortage of natural gas.
Meanwhile, Iran and two regional countries, namely Syria and Iraq, have launched talks since last year to construct a new pipeline. The project, dubbed friendship pipeline, can also transfer natural gas to Lebanon and Jordan.
Iran, which has the largest gas reserves in the world, seeks to enhance gas production by increasing foreign and domestic investments.
In its Statistical Review of World Energy released in June, the BP classed Iran as the world’s top gas reserves holder with 33.6 trillion cubic meters.
The company downgraded Russia’s reserves estimate to 32.9 trillion cubic meters from 44.6 trillion cubic meters in last year’s report, putting global proven gas reserves at 187.3 trillion cubic meters as of the end of 2012.
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