Iran To Begin Gas Exports To Iraq Once Baghdad Starts Paying
Iran is ready to begin exporting natural gas to Iraq via a pipeline as soon as Baghdad starts making payments, Iranian deputy oil minister for international affairs and trade, Amir-Hossein Zamaniniya, has said. Iran and Iraq signed an agreement in 2013 under which Iran would export natural gas from its huge South Pars field to power plants in Sadr, Baghdad and al-Mansuriya in Iraq. The project is expected to bring Iran US$3.7 billion in revenues annually.
Last week, Iran’s oil minister Bijan Zangeneh told the oil ministry’s news service Shana that the country’s gas production had increased by 50 percent over the past three years thanks to new development phases at South Pars. A year after the lifting of the western sanctions, Iran is eager to regain its previous oil export market share and sign deals with oil and gas majors for the development of its vast crude oil and natural gas resources.
Just recently, the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) released the list of 29 companies that have qualified for bidding in oil and gas tenders. The list shows that the biggest European producers, including Shell, Eni, Total, and OMV have all qualified. BP, however, has pulled out of the race because of worry that relations between Iran and the U.S. will get heated once Donald Trump takes office later this month, according to the Financial Times.
Those that qualified also include China’s Sinopec, CNPC, CNOOC, and CNPW, as well as the state-owned oil companies of Indonesia and Malaysia – Pertamina and Petronas – plus Japan’s INPEX Corporation, Itochu, Mitsui, and Mitsubishi, and Japan Petroleum Corporation. Russian Gazprom and Lukoil were also among those qualified for the tenders, as were Danish Maersk, Indian ONGC, and Polish PGNiG.