The CEO of the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) said export and consumption of natural gas would benefit humanity, adding Iran’s gas export deals were still effective and “no one has the right to impose sanctions on them.”
“Export of gas does not necessarily concern national interests, rather, human interests are hinged upon export and consumption of natural gas; therefore, neither does anyone have the right to impost sanctions on gas exports nor has anyone ever done so. The issue of gas exports is not politicized,” Hamid Reza Araqi told reporters on Sunday.
He argued that the issue of gas is different from crude oil because NIGC, besides being responsible for energy supply and closing long-term export deals with the neighboring countries, takes environmental steps in order to replace gas with liquid fuel in power plants and industries.
Araqi, who is also deputy petroleum minister for gas affairs, said Baghdad would prefer natural gas over field oil and gasoil for feeding its power plant due to both environmental and economic considerations.
“Environmental and economic issues have led to the fact that no restrictions can be placed on gas exports,” the official added. “Our export contracts are still in place and will increase in the future.”
He further announced that good news regarding increased gas export volumes were under way, saying Iran is currently exporting 18 mcm/d of gas to Iraq.
Turkey is Iran’s biggest buyer of gas by importing 30 mcm/d, and gas exports to Iraq’s Basra will begin in the near future, he added.
“Now we are self-sufficient in preservation, maintaining, and establishing stations and refineries, and import only a part of the spare parts and chemicals used by gas refineries, but more than 90 percent of the spare parts that we need are domestically manufactured,” Araqi added.