Greek Official in Energy Talks

Greek Official in Energy TalksGreek Official in Energy Talks

Greek companies are willing not only to play an active role in Iran's gas industry but also purchase their much-needed natural gas from Iran.

Hossein Esmaeili, Oil Ministry director general for Europe, US, and Caspian littoral states, made the remark in a meeting in Tehran with Georgios Katrougalos, Greek's deputy foreign minister on Tuesday, Mehr News Agency. Attaching importance to boosting relations with Iran, Katrougalos noted that Athens is willing to enhance energy ties with the Middle East country, especially for meeting its domestic demand for natural gas.

The official did not say if Greece would be interested to receive Iran's gas in the form of liquefied cargo, including LPG and LNG, or as natural gas through a pipeline from its eastern neighbor Turkey, which is the largest importer of Iranian gas.

Referring to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras's visit to Iran last year, Katrougalos added that grounds have been paved to develop relations between the two states.

According to the official, new round of negotiations have started with the National Iranian Oil Company to settle Greece’s Hellenic Petroleum's unpaid oil dues.

Amirhossein Zamaninia, the deputy oil minister for international affairs, said on the sidelines of a separate meeting with Katrougalos that “Greece will repay its oil debt in installments over two years."

Debt-riddled Greece is said to owe Iran $980 million in oil payment dues.

Zamaninia said the two sides have held several rounds of negotiations on the issue and set up a workgroup for facilitating the repayment process.

Stressing that Greece had resumed oil imports from Iran after the sanctions removal, the official noted, “Greece currently imports 60,000 barrels of crude per day from Iran.”

According to officials, the volume of exports could reach 150,000 barrels per day in the foreseeable future.

Hellenic Petroleum S.A. repaid $109 million of the debt in its first payment in June.


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