Iran to acquire gas production rigs from Belgium
Tehran, Iran, November 9
By Mehdi Sepahvand -- Trend:
Following the conclusion of engineering and economic talks between Iran and Belgium, if an agreement is reached, then floating liquefied natural gas production facilities will be delivered to Kharg Island from Belgium and Iran will witness its first LNG output using the Belgian rigs.
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh confirmed these plans following a meeting with Belgian Secretary of State for Foreign Trade Pieter De Crem in Tehran, SHANA news agency reported November 9.
Belgian companies had earlier provided maritime engineering services and environmental assistance to Iran before the imposition of sanctions, Zanganeh noted.
Iran, however, was no longer able to cooperate with many countries following the strengthening of sanctions in 2007. Now the country expects to be freed from sanctions due to the terms of a nuclear agreement with six world powers.
"Since the value of their trade with Iran was $1 billion, the Belgian companies are insistent on improving their current cooperation with Iran," Zanganeh added.
He further said Belgium is going to manufacture special piping needed in the oil industry for Iran.
"Talks were also held on the underground storage of gas, as well as issues in the environmental field," Zanganeh noted.
Pointing out that Belgium has never directly bought oil from Iran, he said that the sides had not held talks on the purchase of oil.
However, Zanganeh said, Belgium is interested in investing in Iran's petrochemical sector.
In 2005, before sanctions were tightened against Iran, Belgium was Iran's 28th largest trade partner, exporting some $733 million in goods to Iran, while importing $74 million from Iran.
During the first five months of the current Iranian year (March 21 to August 22), however, Iran's imports from Belgium were registered at $131.6 million, while exports hit $14.6 million.