Iran, Algeria Forging Energy Cooperation

Iran is willing to transfer its energy experiences to all Muslim states, including Algeria
 Iran can provide Algeria with power plant equipment complying with international standards. Iran can provide Algeria with power plant equipment complying with international standards.

Iran's Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian said gone are the days when oil-rich states relied on petrodollars, as the global energy dynamics necessitate the development of domestic capabilities to build the future.

After holding talks with Noureddine Boutarfa on Saturday, Algeria's minister of mines and energy, Chitchian said, "When oil prices soared, countries like Iran and Algeria solely relied on oil revenues to undertake their development projects, yet under sanctions, the strategy proved to be wrong and we came to the conclusion that dependence on single-commodity economy is not reliable," Shana reported.

Expressing satisfaction over Iran's reliance on domestic expertise, especially in the field of water and energy, which helped the country face the lowest number of electricity blackouts during sanctions, Chitchian said, "We are willing to transfer our energy experiences to all Muslim states, including Algeria."

He noted that the two states have already cooperated in different energy fields, adding that Algeria can definitely draw on Iranian energy companies' experiences as Iran can provide them with power plant equipment complying with international standards.

"Such collaboration can help them reduce their dependency on western enterprises," he said.

According to Chitchian, establishing a joint company as a consultancy engineering firm or setting up a joint enterprise to manufacture electricity equipment and implement power plant projects can be an ideal start to resume energy cooperation.

Underscoring Algeria's future prospect of energy, especially in the electricity sector, Boutarfa said, "Plans have been made to develop several mega electricity initiatives in Algeria, one of which is the construction of a 12,000-megawatt power plant by 2022, which can be a unique opportunity for the two states to embark on a joint venture."

The Algerian minister added that several renewable energy projects have been put out to tender and Iranian companies could participate in them.

Stressing that Algeria's economy is ailing, Boutarfa added that his country is making efforts to help its economy grow through investment in the energy sector.

Iran is ranked 14th in the world in power generation, according to official reports. It exports electricity to Afghanistan, Iraq, Turkey and Pakistan and exchanges the same with Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Armenia.

The country has an installed power generation capacity of 75,000 megawatts.

 Oil Talks

After holding talks with Boutarfa, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said Iran and Algeria can expand cooperation in the oil, gas and energy sectors beyond their relations at the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

"Iran is ready to support any decision to help restore balance to the oil market after it regains its pre-sanctions market share," Zanganeh said.

Deputy Oil Minister for International Affairs Amir Hossein Zamaninia also voiced Iran's support for any decision that would help restore oil market balance, saying the country can only be cooperative in this field once it regains its pre-sanctions oil market share.

Global oversupply had knocked crude prices down from mid-2014 highs of above $100 a barrel to a 12-year low earlier this year of around $27 a barrel. Brent has since rebounded and was trading at around $49 a barrel last week.

Iran, OPEC's third largest producer, has been sending positive signals that it may support joint action to prop up the oil market, potentially aiding efforts to revive a global deal on freezing production levels.

Members of OPEC will meet on the sidelines of the International Energy Forum, which groups producers and consumers, in Algeria on Sept. 26-28. Zanganeh has confirmed that he will attend the Algeria meeting.

If OPEC fails to strike a deal in Algeria, the group is expected to explore other measures to support oil prices during its policy meeting in Vienna on November 30.