A Japanese delegation is in Iran to discuss possible gas imports through pipeline or in the form of LNG, the Fars news agency says.

The visit follows recent calls by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to look for new sources of gas in order to guarantee energy security, the report said.

Japan has raised gas imports since the Fukushima nuclear disaster, turning to the biggest purchaser of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Iran is currently exporting natural gas through a pipeline to Turkey. The Islamic Republic has further signed agreements to pipe natural gas to Iraq and Pakistan.

Another mammoth deal, worth around $60 billion, foresees sales of the Iranian gas to Oman. It involves building a pipeline across the Persian Gulf to Oman and exporting Iran’s gas as liquefied natural gas (LNG) from there.

LNG is natural gas which is cooled to -162 degrees Celsius to take liquid form for storage or transport.

The visit by the Japanese delegation is the country’s first major foray into the Iranian energy sector since the two sides cancelled an oil development plan.

In 2000, Tehran had granted preferential rights to a Japanese consortium to develop the biggest Iranian oil field of Azadegan but the agreement was scrapped due to Tokyo’s foot-dragging.

Japan is currently one of the biggest importers of the Iranian oil along with China, India and South Korea.

Source: Press TV