Iran’s gas exports have increased by more than one million cubic meters (mcm) during the first 11 months of the previous Iranian calendar year (ended March 20, 2015) compared to the corresponding period a year before.
According to Petroleum Ministry’s SHANA news agency, the country exported 26.8 mcm natural gas during the aforesaid period. The figure showed a year-on-year increase of 1.4 mcm.
The report added that Iran’s average gas exports from 2011 to 2013 amounted to 25.4 mcm, 25.5 mcm, and 26 mcm, respectively, and the figure is expected to further increase during the current Iranian year (started March 21, 2015).
During past years Iran, which sits on the world’s largest gas reserves, has implemented plans to enhance production and export of natural gas by increasing foreign and domestic investment, especially in its South Pars gas field.
The country is currently exporting gas to Turkey and is set to start gas exports to its western neighbor, Iraq, by May.
On April 12, Managing director of the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) Hamid Reza Araqi was quoted by Shana as saying that the Islamic Republic is ready to export natural gas to Kuwait via a pipeline, which is being built to transfer Iran’s gas to its western neighbor, Iraq.
The official stated that increasing the export of Iran’s natural gas is among the main goals of the Islamic Republic’s Sixth Economic Development Plan, which is expected to start next year.
On April 13, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the country has what it takes to become a supplier of natural gas to Europe.
“Tehran is a reliable partner,” Iran’s top diplomat told reporters in Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana, where he was on a mission to discuss regional as well as mutual issues, emphasizing that countries like Turkey, which have natural gas cooperation deals with Iran, have clearly realized that the country is a reliable energy partner.
On April 16, European Union’s Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete said Europe keeps the possibility of importing gas from Iran open as it seeks to diversify sources of energy
Speaking on the sidelines of a meeting of EU energy ministers in the Latvian capital city of Riga, Canete said Iran was a new possibility for imports of gas by Europe if Tehran’s nuclear negotiations led to a final agreement.
His remarks came after an official of Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) project said the project’s stakeholders were willing to pave the way for Iran’s investment in the project when international sanctions against the country are removed
“TAP is open to new shareholders, which can add strategic value to the project,” Lisa Givert, TAP’s communication head, told reporters in the Azeri capital, Baku.
The sanctions were imposed on Iran at the beginning of 2012 by the US and EU claiming that there is a military aspect to Iran’s peaceful nuclear program; an allegation Iran categorically rejected.
The Islamic Republic and the P5+1 group of countries – the US, the UK, France, Germany, Russia and China – reached an interim agreement on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program in the Swiss city of Geneva last November, which led to relative loosening of sanctions against Iran, paving the way for further cooperation in various economic fields, especially in energy sector, between Iran and other countries.
Following the Lausanne understanding Iran’s oil industry officials said international companies have voiced interest in taking up projects in the country’s oil industry.
By Press TV