Iranian Oil Minister: Russia to cooperate on gas swap agreement
So far, Moscow and Tehran have agreed on the development of seven oil and gas fields in Iran. Talks on fourteen other fields are still underway.
Iranian Oil Minister Javad Owji announced on Thursday that a final version on the gas swap agreement with Russia will be signed in the near future by the National Iranian Gas Company and the Russian companies in Moscow.
Owji delivered the remarks while referring to a meeting he held with Igor Yevgenyevich Levitin, Aide to the President of the Russian Federation.
While making mention of some negotiations that were held following previous agreements in the field of energy and rail transportation, Owji said, "In the transportation sector, discussions were held regarding the construction of the Rasht-Astara railway line and the setting up of an electrification system in the Garmsar-Inche Burun railway line."
He added that financial obligations will be made by Russian banks, and since the senior aide to the Russian president has full authority, these projects are expected to be operational soon.
Referring to the signing of a 40 billion dollar memorandum of understanding with large Russian companies, Owji noted, "These include memorandums and contracts; Now we have a contract with Russia for the development of seven oil and gas fields which have progressed between 10% and 30%, and negotiations are underway for 14 other fields."
"The gas swap agreement with Russia will be signed in the near future in Moscow between the National Iranian Gas Company and Russian companies; Negotiations were also held regarding the swap of petroleum products; Iran has many capacities in the field of the sea, railway and land transportation for the development of swap," he stressed.
He went on to say that the meeting of the Iran-Russia joint commission will be held in 2 months in Moscow, and negotiations will continue on various issues, including energy, transportation, trade, and even sports.
Referring to Russia's plan of investing 5 billion euros in Iranian projects, he added that, "2.5 billion euros have been assigned in power plant projects. The remainder of this amount will be invested in other projects, which will also be contracted."
While stressing that the partnership in the energy field is not one-sided and that Iranian companies have great potency, the Iranian oil minister added that in the petrochemical industry, contracts for products and catalysts have been signed and the export of petrochemical catalysts to Russia has also started.
"Another issue emphasized in the signing of the memorandum with Russia is the discussion of increasing the pressure in the South Pars Gas Field because the Russians have good capabilities in this field," he said elsewhere in his remarks.
Another challenge has been the provision of financial resources which Russian companies have agreed to provide for the development of the seven oil fields, according to Owji.
In recent years, Russia and Iran have made considerable strides in strengthening their diplomatic and financial ties.
Over the past few years, the two countries have had close and expanding relations, and the anti-Western positions of both governments have created aligned interests between both sides.
The start of the war in Ukraine and the imposition of severe Western sanctions against Moscow has brought both countries closer in their anti-Western campaign.
When the leaders of both countries met on July 19, Iran’s leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told Russian President Vladimir Putin "If you had not taken the initiative, the other side (West) would have caused a war on its own initiative."