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Iran’s Oil Ministry, Azerbaijan’s SOCAR press for expanded ties

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Photo shows Iranian Oil Minister Javad Owji and president of Azerbaijan’s SOCAR energy company Rovnag Abdullayev shaking hands before a meeting in Tehran on December 8, 2021.

The Iranian Oil Ministry and Azerbaijan’s SOCAR energy company have discussed avenues for increased cooperation in oil and gas projects, especially in the Caspian Sea region, amid improving ties between the two neighboring countries.

SOCAR president Rovnag Abdullayev paid a visit on Wednesday to Iran’s Oil Ministry headquarters in Tehran where he met Oil Minister Javad Owji, according to a report by the ministry’s news service Shana.

Owji and Abdullayev discussed how Iran and Azerbaijan can boost their energy ties and improve cooperation in the Caspian Sea where major oil and gas reserves are located, said the report.

The visit comes just 10 days after Iran signed an agreement to swap natural gas received from neighboring Turkmenistan, located east of the Caspian Sea, with its own gas for delivery to Azerbaijan to the western side of the sea.

The landmark deal has been viewed as a major success for an Iranian administration that came to office in August on promises that it would seek better economic and trade ties with Iran’s neighbors.

It also came after a brief period of tension between Iran and Azerbaijan in September due to border and transportation issues in areas liberated in a 2020 war between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

The Shana report said that Owji and Abdullayev dedicated a major part of their Wednesday meeting to discussing the trilateral gas swap deal which is expected to go into effect in late December.

Under the deal, Iran is entitled to supply part of the gas received from Turkmenistan, which will be around 1.5-2 billion cubic meters per year, to five of its northern provinces while the equivalent of the rest will be supplied to pipelines in Astara region on the border with Azerbaijan .


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