Official: Iran Prefers LNG Exports to Europe
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran’s deputy oil minister said the country would prefer to export its gas as LNG than through pipelines once sanctions against Tehran are lifted.
In an interview with Interfax on Monday, Rokneddin Javadi said, "Our understanding today is that LNG is more promising for the European market and is much more economical than pipelines. But if there are parties who would like to work on this (pipeline) issue, and if they don’t expect the difference in price to be reimbursed by Iran, we would welcome ideas."
Meanwhile, the CEO of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) said Europe was a target market, but only one of a number of possible buyers of Iranian exports.
"There are other opportunities in neighboring countries as well as which are big consumers – India and China for example," Javadi said.
"The target is that you can sell your commodity in the market and you can get the benefit of your investment considering the inherent value of the product. Today it is $6-7/MMBtu, which is economical, but nobody would object if the market accepts $8-10/MMBtu or $15/MMBtu."
The Iranian official also said timing depends on how eager the prospective investors are and "how we approach the situation", noting that Iran expects to have contracts signed in 2016 under normal circumstances.
Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany) on July 14 reached a conclusion on a lasting nuclear agreement that would terminate all sanctions imposed on Tehran over its nuclear energy program after coming into force.
The promising prospect of trade with Iran has prompted many countries to explore the market potential in the populous Middle East nation.