TEHRAN (Iran News) – Iran Oil Minister Javad Owji announced that Tehran is prepared to trade natural gas and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) with members of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) through various ways including swap, transit and other common methods.
Owji made the remark on the sidelines of the Extraordinary Ministerial Meeting of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) held on Monday February 21, 2022 in Doha, Qatar.
Over the last two years, we have witnessed the outbreak of the COVID-19 and its new variant, Omicron, as well as its adverse impacts on social and economic conditions of major countries across the globe. Although gas industry has been less affected than other sectors, it has had its ups and downs. The current energy crisis, the fluctuations in global gas market in particular, has mainly caused by global gas supply and demand, especially in the European Union where declining storage and restrictions on natural gas supply resulted in rising prices in various regions and markets. On the other hand, the absence of strategic stability has been a major factor in recent developments in high natural gas prices in Europe, he said.
Accounting for 50 percent of the world’s natural gas exports, the GECF has been able to maintain its strategic role in the sustainable supply of natural gas to the world despite the outbreak of corona virus pandemic. This owes much to the member states’ perseverance and reflects the forum’s effective strategy. Considering the energy transition as well as the requirements of the climate change and sustainable development, the GECF has tried to improve the security of natural gas supply in regional and global markets and paved the way for an inclusive development of natural gas and LNG consumption as the available and eco-friendly fuel across the world, especially energy-poor countries, he said.
Iran’s core policy, as one of the world’s largest holders of proven natural gas reserves and a founder of GECF, is to provide maximum support to the spirit of cooperation and GECF collective decisions in accordance with the GECF Statute and the procedures agreed upon by the forum’s member states to fulfill the interests of natural gas exporters and importers, Owji added.
It is noteworthy that Iran, with 338,000 kilometers of gas supply network, is one of the leading countries in this area. Therefore, we strongly believe that the imposition of unilateral and transnational sanctions against any of the Forum’s member states can disrupt the steady flow of natural gas worldwide and jeopardize the security of natural gas supply, he said.
In this regard, member states and observers’ supports for the concepts of “depoliticization of international and global gas cooperation”, and “return to economic logic and multilateralism”, also emphasized in the Summit’s statement, can play a significant role in maintaining security of gas supply and demand in the world and realization of fair prices for all stakeholders in the global gas industry. The imposition of unilateral and illegal sanctions against Forum’s members is not only against international laws, but also a major cause of uncertainty in the global energy market, he mentioned.
In addition to revenue generation, reviving gas swap can help increase Iran’s share in world gas trade. Just in four months after the 13th government took office, Iran, the Republic of Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan signed an agreement to swap two billion cubic meters of gas which can not only help maintain stability of gas network in northern provinces of Iran, will also strengthen Iran’s share in global gas trade, he stated.
The 13th government and the Ministry of Petroleum are determined to increase Iran’s share in natural gas trade and help meet the growing gas demand in the world through developing Iran’s regional and international relations in gas trade, the Iranian minister said.
We are ready to cooperate with all member countries of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum in the existing ways of natural gas and LNG trade including swaps, transit and other common methods. It should be noted that our country’s geopolitics is in a way that can be used as the most desirable corridor for gas transmission to the East and West, he added.
We not only have the largest gas reserves in the world, but also neighbor the world’s largest gas reserves holders, including Russia, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan in the north, and Qatar in the south. We also have access to the gas exports corridor to Europe via Turkey. All these indicate the importance of Iran as one of the main pillars of global gas trade, Owji noted.
Meanwhile, the large size of the country enables the storage with the cooperation of Forum’s members to control seasonal conditions. It is worth mentioning that as a leading country in construction and expansion of domestic gas supply network, we have the appropriate technical and engineering capacity to partner with the member countries, he added.