Gazprom Officials to Visit

Gazprom Officials to VisitGazprom Officials to Visit

A 30-strong delegation of Russia's Gazprom is due in Tehran in the near future to explore grounds for cooperation in mega gas projects, liquefied natural gas initiatives and mini LNG plans, as well as in the construction of gas pipelines.

Stressing the importance of Gazprom official' visit to Tehran, Azizollah Ramezani, National Iranian Gas Company's director for international affairs, noted that serious negotiations have been held between NIGC and Gazprom's joint workgroups since last December when Alexander Medvedev, deputy chairman of Gazprom's management committee, visited Tehran.

Gazprom's experts, who will be dispatched to the Persian Gulf country in four technical workgroups, have planned to exchange views with NIGC's officials on a wide range of gas sector issues like natural gas trade, research and development and implementation of joint gas ventures, IRNA reported.

The Russian gas giant's management has decided to play an active role in Iran's untapped energy market to be able to compete with international rivals that have shown enthusiasm in entering Iran's lucrative market.

A high-ranking official of the Russian state-owned gas giant told IRNA, on condition of anonymity, "Given the gas giant's cutting-edge technological know-how, cooperation with Iran is a win-win deal and both sides will reap the benefit."

Stressing that Iran and Russia have the largest proven gas reserves in the world, the official added that developing closer industrial collaboration would benefit both gas-rich states.

According to the expert, Gazprom will focus on exploration, production activities and transfer of technical expertise.

"Gazprom holds the world’s largest natural gas reserves and its share in the global and Russian gas reserves makes up 17% and 72% respectively. It accounts for 12% and 72% of the global and Russian gas output accordingly," he said.

Underscoring Iranian engineers' talent in acquiring knowhow, he said introducing advanced technologies to Iranian oil and gas specialists will not be a challenge. According to Hamidreza Araqi, managing director of National Iranian Gas Company, no deal has been signed to commission Russian enterprises to develop gas initiatives in Iran yet.

"Nonetheless, NIGC is willing to consider Russian proposals to develop gas plans in Iran," he said.

 Araqi believes that the world will need an alternative source of energy for oil sooner or later and in view of their gas reserves, Iran and Russia can be major players in providing the world with much-needed energy.

"Iranian experts have already gained specialized knowledge in different fields, including the construction of gas pipelines, gas storage tanks, compressor stations and gas refineries, yet to keep themselves updated, they need to cooperate with the best foreign companies," he said.

A 25-member delegation of Gazprom officials, headed by Alexander Medvedev, deputy chairman of Gazprom's management committee, met with NIGC officials in Tehran in December 2015. In the meeting with Araqi, Medvedev hoped the new round of talks would lead to a memorandum of understanding in early 2016.