Iran is considering exporting gas to Europe, an oil ministry official said Sunday, against the backdrop of soaring energy prices due to Russia’s war in Ukraine.
“Iran is studying this subject, but we have not concluded yet,” deputy oil minister Majid Chegeni said by the ministry’s official news agency, Shana.
“Iran is always after the development of energy diplomacy and expansion of the market,” he added.
Though Iran boasts one of the world’s largest proven gas reserves, its industry has been hit by US sanctions reimposed in 2018 when Washington withdrew from a landmark nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.
In February, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sent global oil and gas prices soaring, with many European countries dependent on energy imports from Russia.
Big tanks are seen at a BP oil refinery in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, on March 7, 2022. Prices for gasoline and diesel reached new highs in Germany due to Russia’s war in Ukraine.
The situation worsened Wednesday when Kyiv said Russia had halted gas supplies through a critical transit hub in the east of Ukraine, fueling fears Moscow’s invasion could worsen an energy crisis in Europe.
Last year, the European Union received around 155 billion cubic meters of Russian gas, accounting for 45 percent of its imports.
Iran’s deputy oil minister also confirmed that Tehran and Baghdad had signed a memorandum of understanding a few weeks ago to see the Islamic Republic increase gas exports to Iraq.
“Gas exports from Iran increased, and in this memorandum, it was stated that Iraq’s debt of $1.6 billion to Iran will be paid by the end of May,” Chegeni added.