Iran, Ukraine Discuss Cooperation in Gas Sector

Iran, Ukraine Discuss  Cooperation in Gas SectorIran, Ukraine Discuss  Cooperation in Gas Sector

Ukraine is eager to cooperate with Iran's private sector to help store gas.

After holding talks with Ukraine's Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, Amirhossein Zamaninia, Iran's deputy oil minister for international and commercial affairs, said the two sides explored a wide range of issues to boost collaboration in the gas sector, ISNA reported.

According to Zamaninia, natural gas transfer to Ukraine either via pipeline or in the form of LNG (liquefied natural gas), gas storage, oil and gas equipment as well as joint ventures to implement mega projects were among the most significant issues discussed.

Pointing to Ukrainian enterprises' state-of-the-art knowhow in storing gas, the official noted that they are also keen on making investment to store gas in Iran.

"Technical negotiations are high on the agenda. Plans call for the cooperation of Iran's private sector with a consortium of European companies to store the Persian Gulf state's natural gas," he said.

Zamaninia noted that establishing a joint Iranian-Ukrainian venture to implement major projects was also discussed.

In a meeting with Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister Zubko Hennadii expressed his country's willingness to expand oil cooperation with Iran.  

“We are interested in diversification of oil products’ supply to Ukraine. In addition, Iran has shown interest in diversifying the export of its oil and oil products,” said Zubko on "112 Ukraine" TV.

“Therefore, the possibility of refining Iranian oil in Ukraine, storing crude oil in the country and diversifying supplies to the European Union is also on the agenda.”

Ukraine's deputy prime minister noted that although the supply of Iranian oil to the EU is a strategic issue, both sides are interested in it.

According to Zanganeh, $180 billion worth of oil projects are ready to be funded and Ukrainian enterprises should take advantage of the opportunity.

Zanganeh believes that as long as Ukrainian enterprises do not embark on financing oil projects through their banking system, their range of operations will be limited.

  Lithuania Coop.

Speaking on the sidelines of a meeting with Lithuanian Deputy Energy Minister Aleksandras Spruogis, Zamaninia said Lithuania possesses invaluable experience in LNG sector and their proposals over technical cooperation and investment will be studied.

Highlighting Lithuanian proposals to study shale oil and gas production, he added that Lithuania has access to cutting edge FLNG (Floating LNG) facilities, which explains its interest in collaborating with Iran in this regard.

"Despite being a small country in Europe, Lithuania has managed to reduce its dependence on Russian energy supplies from 90% to 50%," he said.

Iran’s deputy oil minister said plans have been made to hold talks with the European country’s private sector as they are eager to import oil from Iran.

  Talks on Hold

According to Hamidreza Araqi, managing director of the National Iranian Gas Company, some Persian Gulf littoral states like Kuwait and the UAE, which were planning to purchase natural gas from Iran, have decided to put their negotiations on hold due to their concerns over political issues between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Highlighting the fact that some Arab states have always been interested in importing gas from Iran, Araqi said, "These states do not have enough gas to meet their domestic need, that's why they have to count on reliable suppliers like Iran and not importing the strategic commodity from our country will definitely be to their loss."

Asked about resumption of talks, he stressed that as soon as the political climate is normalized, negotiations will start, as Iran has access to excess natural gas to provide Arab states with their gas requirement during the hot summer days.  

Iran wants to diversify its gas exports, which are concentrated in the north, by reaching out to Persian Gulf countries in the south. The move comes as Iran is planning to boost gas production capacity from 420 million cubic meters per day at present to 1 billion cubic meters a day in 2017 and to 1.2 bcm per day by 2020.