Iran Aims to Resolve UAE Gas Price Row

A02207016.jpgIran is determined to export gas to the United Arab Emirates and has formed a committee to help overcome a pricing dispute that has delayed the project since 2006, an Iranian official was quoted as saying on yesterday. The UAE’s Dana Gas and one of its shareholders, Crescent Petroleum, set up a venture to import gas from Iran starting from mid-2006. The deal became controversial after some Iranian politicians said the export price should be higher.

“We have a firm will to make true the export of gas to the Emirates. The only important issue is amending the price,” SHANA news agency quoted Mahmoud Zirakchian-zadeh, managing director of the National Iranian Offshore Oil Company, as saying.

“A special committee has been formed to study and finalize the work,” Zirakchian-zadeh said, without giving details about its members.

Iran’s former Oil Minister Kazem Vaziri Hamaneh, who was replaced on August 12, said earlier in the month that his country was talking with other potential buyers that were willing to pay a market price for the gas it had planned to sell to the UAE firm.

But a Crescent source said the company was prepared to pay the market price and that Iran was trying to shift blame for being late in finishing building the gas export facilities.

The UAE needs gas from the $1bn project to meet rising domestic demand from industry and power plants.

Iran, which has the world’s second largest gas reserves after Russia, has also said it considered using the gas for domestic purposes.

The initial agreement between Iran and Crescent, based in the northern emirate of Sharjah, was for the supply of 600mn cu ft per day.

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