Dissenting Views Over Gas Export

Dissenting Views Over Gas ExportDissenting Views Over Gas Export

Despite the fact that the Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh and the director of international affairs of the Iranian National Oil Co. (NIOC), Seyed Mohsen Ghamsari say exporting gas to Europe is not economically viable, the director of international affairs of the Iranian National Gas Co. (NIGC), Azizollah Ramezani insists otherwise, Fars news agency reported.

Iran's reluctance to export gas to Europe is due to the price slump in that continent, according to Ghamsari. Moreover, the oil minister who was talking at the Munich Energy Security Conference last week said," Not only is gas price so low in Europe, but also we have to deal with legal impediments as well as budgetary problems; hence, it is not a priority for us."

Zanganeh added that, "We are not in Germany to sell oil and gas, the cornerstone of our negotiations will be focused on the petrochemical industry." On the other hand, pointing to the surveys on the special route for entering European borders, Azizollah Ramezani said in a recent interview that Iran should not lose the opportunity to supply Europe with gas via a 3000-km gas line which he says is completely economical.

Highlighting the crisis between Russia and Europe plus the cut back on gas production Ramezani reiterated," Europe is seeking ways to diversify its gas resources and transportation routes, and Iran is able to meet a part of that need."

Following negotiations with Iranian oil officials and intermediaries, some European states including Austria, Poland, Greece and Switzerland have expressed willingness to import gas from Iran after the termination of the sanctions.

Tehran is under punitive economic sanctions because of its nuclear program. After marathon talks in Lausanne, Switzerland, Iran and the P5+1 (Britain, China, France, Russia, the US plus Germany) reached a framework agreement on April 2 that calls for lifting all trade sanctions against Iran. The details of the agreement are to be finalized by a June 30 deadline.