Iran urges use of national currencies in energy deals with Russia
Iran and Russia should switch to their national currencies in joint oil and gas projects, an Iranian oil official suggested on Wednesday as part of bilateral talks on a long-term plan of energy cooperation.
"We want our national currencies to be used in our projects," Deputy Petroleum Minister of Iran Hossein Noghrehkar Shirazi said, adding this measure would facilitate the financing of large projects.
The move is also seen as an attempt to find an alternative to the U.S. dollar whose credibility has been weakened by the global economic crisis and reduce dependence on the greenback as the world's major reserve currency.
Shirazi is attending a meeting of the Russian-Iranian working group on cooperation in the oil, gas and petrochemical spheres in Moscow, which is intended to map out a plan for both countries' energy cooperation in the coming 30 years.
Shirazi also said that Iran planned to double gas output in the next five years to 1 billion cubic meters a day, increase oil production by 1 million barrels per day to 5 million bbl/d, and build new oil refineries and petrochemical plants.
Russian Deputy Energy Minister Sergei Kudryashov said Iran and Russia, who together account for 18% of the world's oil and 40% of global gas reserves, "are fated to cooperate in implementing large-scale projects."
Kudryashov said that major Russian energy companies Gazprom Neft, Gazprom, Sibur and energy engineering company Stroytransgaz were participating in the talks with Iran.