The Iranian and Russian deputy ministers signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for energy cooperation, despite Iran having its energy, banking and industry sectors heavily sanctioned by the United States, during the third meeting of the Iran-Russia Energy Working Group held in Tehran on June 17.
“The cooperation in the spheres of exploration, extraction, production of oil, and investment in oil, gas and petrochemical industries have been included in the MoU,” Hossein Esmaeili Shahmirzadi, the director-general of the department for America, Europe and Caspian States at Iran’s Oil Ministry told SHANA.
The document was signed by Amir Hossein Zamaninia, Iran’s deputy petroleum minister for international affairs and trading, and Anatoly Yanovsky, Russia’s deputy energy minister.
The third meeting of the Iran-Russia Energy Working Group was held on the sidelines of the recent meeting of the Joint Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation between the two countries. The first meeting of the energy working group was in Tehran, and the second was held in Saint Petersburg.
Addressing the 15th Summit of Iran-Russia Joint Economic Cooperation Commission in the Iranian central city of Esfahan on Tuesday, Russia’s energy minister, Alexander Novak, described Russia and Iran as good neighbors and partners, saying that his country is determined to develop and enhance the bilateral relationship.
A day earlier, the Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh discussed global cooperation in the energy sector and within the framework of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), during a meeting with Novak, who is visiting Iran and heading a 120 person delegation, for a new round of joint economic commission meetings on June 17 and 18.
He disagreed with a plan to postpone an upcoming meeting of OPEC, adding that Iran would prefer July 10-12 if a new date was to be set for the gathering.
OPEC was scheduled to meet on June 25, but Russia – a non-OPEC oil-producing state – had suggested moving the meeting to July 3-4. In letters to OPEC, Algeria and Kazakhstan disagreed with moving the dates, along with Venezuela and Libya.
“Iran and Russia have good partnership capabilities in the sphere of trade and oil-gas swap” Zanganeh said after the meeting, according to Iran’s Tasnim news agency.
OPEC and its allies, a grouping known as OPEC+, agreed in December 2018 to reduce global oil supplies by 1.2 million barrels per day beginning in 2019, in an attempt to drive up what were relatively low prices. OPEC’s share of the cut is 800,000 bpd, to be delivered by 11 members, with the exceptions of Iran, Libya and Venezuela.