TEHRAN, July 26 (Shana) — Iranian Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh said Iran will be exporting 3mcm/d of natural gas to neighboring Armenia by 2018 from the current 1mcm/d.
Speaking to reporters following a meeting with his Armenian counterpart Levon Yolyan in his Tehran office on Tuesday, Zangeneh said Tehran and Yerevan have faised their gas-for-power barter, saying transit of Iran’s gas through Armenia was the meeting’s main highlight.
He said the Armenian delegation had come to Tehran following Iran’s call for gas transit to Georgia through Armenian territories.
He said: “During the meeting the Armenian delegation proposed formation of a body to follow up on the gas transit which we endorsed.
The two sides have agreed to change the Armenian buyer of Iranian gas which is currently Yerevan Thermal Power Plant and a new gas deal be signed between the plant and the new organization which is yet to be formed, added Zangeneh.
“Future deals for direct gas sale to Armenia as well as gas transit through the country to other destinations will be signed by this organizations,” he added.
Asked what advantage formation of this organization will have for Iran, Zangeneh said export of gas is an advantage herein.
“Armenia announced that its thermal power plant to which Iran sends its gas is now allowed to transit the gas to further destinations and therefore the gas deal between Iran and Armenia must be signed by another party; an initiative which Iran has endorsed.”
He also said Iran has also signed a trial deal with a Georgian buyer which will hopefully be enforced before March 2017.
More gas-for-power barter
Iranian Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh said Armenia recently requested for more gas from Iran because gas transfer from Russia to this country was interrupted for a period of 40 days so Iran raised gas export to Armenia from 1mcm/d to 3.5mcm/d just to help Yerevan.
“The rise was not based on the two country’s gas deal and it was a help from Tehran to Yerevan,” he added.
He said boosting energy ties with neighboring countries by exporting more gas is one of the strategies Iran is seeking currently.
“Armenia is a not big customer for Iran’s gas but can open up a crucial gas route for Iran’s gas exports and we have reached an agreement in this regard,” he added.
The top Iranian energy official further touched on the gas-for-power barter between Iran and Armenia, saying the proportion of the barter has increased in such a way that in the past Iran received 3kW/h for every cubic meter of gas it supplied Armenia which has risen to 3.2kW/h.
Iran and Armenia in 2004 signed a gas-for-power barter deal for the next 20 years.