Iran’s Minister of Petroleum Bijan Namdar Zanganeh (file photo)

Iran planning LNG exports: Petroleum minister

TEHRAN Oct. 20 (Shana) – Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh said Iran is planning to supply 10 million tons of LNG to the international markets in coming years rather than pumping gas via pipelines.

“LNG is Iran’s policy for the far-reaching markets. Gasline export has a number of problems and in addition to (pipe laying for) long distances, huge sums of money will be spent on the transit,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the Iranian Petroleum and Energy Club 2015 Congress and Exhibition (IPEC 2015) which kicked off here on Monday.
The three-day conference which started one day after announcement of formal end to anti-Iran sanctions is going to discuss the theme Post-Sanctions Iran: An Open Door to Oil and Gas Investment Opportunities.

“As soon as sanctions are lifted and the industry’s seized equipments are released, Iran’s LNG project will be activated and we can enter the LNG market,” Zangeneh added, “We are after partners for production and marketing of LNG.”
Earlier deputy petroleum minister for gas affairs said that thanks to holding world’s largest gas reservoirs, Iran is studying a host of schemes for presence in the international and European gas markets in addition to the neighboring countries.

“It is economical to export gas to the neighboring countries. Following the nuclear agreement, it is possible to export gas to Europe through Turkey too,” Hamid-Reza Araqi told Shana.
In view of gas pipeline network, Iran ranks second in the region after Russia.

“There are also experts who suggest that to enter distant global markets, it is better to export gas in LNG because it will become more economical,” Managing Director of the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) added.
Meeting the increasing domestic demand as well as boosting export of gas and presence in the global market are among important plans of the company. By completion of the Sixth National Development Plan, Iran’s export will boost from 10 bcm to 66 bcm annually.

In September, Zangeneh said Spain has expressed readiness to re-export Iran’s gas to Europe via its LNG terminals which will be negotiated between Tehran and Madrid.
“Spain is interested in cooperating with Iran in the development of oil, gas, petrochemical, and refining fields as well as construction of equipment and energy optimization projects which are among our plans in the industry,” he said following a meeting with the visiting Spanish Industry, Energy and Tourism Minister Jose Manuel Soria.

An executive of major oil firm Repsol accompanied the Spanish minister in the talks between Zangeneh and Soria.
European countries are looking for lucrative big investment opportunities in Iran that will be unlocked by a nuclear deal in the post-sanctions period.