Iran says ready to revive crescent deal

Shana — Iranian Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh says Iran has notified Crescent Petroleum of its readiness to export natural gas to the Sharjah-based company.

Speaking in an interview with Iran Daily, the official said: “We have informed Crescent Petroleum that we are ready to recover gas exports to the company and have carried out all the required technical and engineering procedures in this regard.

Crescent Petroleum in 2001 signed a deal to import natural gas from Iran’s offshore Salman field through a pipeline jointly built by Iran and Crescent.

In 2005, Crescent became the cornerstone investor in Dh6 billion Dana Gas, the region’s first private-sector gas processing and distribution firm, listed on the Abu Dhabi Stock Market.

Iranian Ministry of Petroleum in 2010 had a contract with Crescent Petroleum Co. to export natural gas to the UAE, but the agreement was abruptly cancelled after disclosure of corruption involved in the deal.

Zangeneh said, based on Iran’s deal with Crescent Petroleum, if the country fails to withdraw gas from Iran it will have to pay the country in damages.

“Based on the arbitration tribunal’s judgement, it is now months that we have declared our readiness and have held numerous talk sessions in this regard,” he added.

Recently, an investigating team inspected Iran’s ability to export gas to UAE.

“By and large, the southern Persian Gulf region is a very important market for us which we cannot forgo… We must enter the market no matter what,” he added.

According to the arbitration, the deal is still binding, Zangeneh added.