Iran, Crescent Petroleum hold talks on gas contract
Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 21
By Khalid Kazimov - Trend:
Officials from the Iranian Oil Ministry and the UAE's Crescent Petroleum have settled for a new round of talks on a gas export contract, Fars news agency reported Feb. 21.
The talks are pursuing negotiations held in 2005 between the Iranian National Gas Company and Crescent Petroleum, a source in the Iranian company announced on condition of anonymity.
He reiterated that the sides do not intend to sign any new contract, but only adjustments will be made to the previous one.
"The Emirati side intends to receive gas from Iran based on a Hague court rule from a few months ago while the Iranian side is seeking to reach a win-win situation, because Iran's aim is to export gas and make money for the country," he noted.
Iran's Justice Minister Mostafa Pourmohammadi said on Aug. 14 that the country would appeal the international tribunal verdict over the disputed deal.
The UAE-based energy firm Dana Gas said on Aug. 10 that an international tribunal had issued a favorable ruling in the dispute over a natural gas supply contract between its affiliate Crescent Petroleum and Iran.
The tribunal ruled a 25-year contract for National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC) to supply gas to Crescent was valid and binding on both parties, and that NIOC has been obligated to deliver gas since December 2005.
Earlier Iranian media outlets quoted industry minister Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh as saying Iran has been fined $18 billion over the case.
"Not only did the country not gain anything from selling gas to the UAE, but it was also fined $18 billion, he noted. However the minister later dismissed the statement.
NIOC and Crescent signed the 25-year contract in 2001, with the price linked to oil. Based on the contract, Iran was supposed to export unrefined natural gas from Salman gas field to the United Arab Emirates. However deliveries were delayed as oil prices rose and some officials and politicians in Iran called for a revision to the gas pricing formula.
Iranian conservatives repeatedly called the contract shameful, saying the price agreed on in the contract was 14 times below the market price