Iranian Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh (pictured) said the presidents and heads of state of 9 countries have confirmed their participation in the upcoming International Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) meeting in Tehran on November 23.
This is the first time that such a number of heads of state and government have confirmed their participation in a GECF summit.
Addressing a press conference on Tuesday, he said the presidents and heads of state of Russia, Bolivia, Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria, Venezuela, Iraq and Algeria have said they will attend the meeting.
Iran’s national gas network covers 90% of the country’s population and plans are under way to bring natural gas output to nearly a billion cubic meters per day in the country within the next two and a half years, said Zangeneh.
He said Iran is now ready to export natural gas to Iraq and has just signed a contract with its Arab neighbor to supply its Basra city with 50 mcm/d of gas.
“Iran is the only country in the region with excess gas output that can be earmarked for exports or be used in different industries,” he added, arguing that although Qatar enjoys vast gas reserves, it has already allocated its supplies for various purposes and there is not much left for further use.
“Except for Qatar, all other Persian Gulf littoral states are consumers of gas and Iran can become the region’s gas export and import hub,” he added.
Iranian Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh further said GECF and OPEC are examples of foundations that are formed to boost cooperation between rivals.
“Today, countries are wise and mature enough to engage in joint activities [with their rivals] while maintaining their competitions,” he said.