Russia, Iran and Qatar will set up a joint venture to produce and sell gas when top officials and executives from the three states hold gas co-operation talks today in Doha, Russian media reported.
Business daily Kommersant said Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom, Qatar Liquefied Gas Company and the National Iranian Oil Company would agree to build a pipeline from Iran’s giant South Pars field to Qatar, where gas will be liquefied.
The three partners will hold 30% each in the venture. They will reserve a 10% stake for a trading partner or a top customer, such as China’s CNPC or Korea’s Kogas, a Reuters report quoted the newspaper as saying.
Gazprom declined immediate comment on the report.
Russia, Iran and Qatar – which are respectively ranked first, second and third in the world in terms of gas reserves – agreed to boost co-ordination at a meeting in Tehran last month.
After the meeting, Iran said there was consensus to set up a gas grouping similar to the Opec, drawing criticism from the EU which opposes any group that could act like a cartel.
Russia referred to a “big gas troika”, which should become a permanent body, holding regular meetings.
Analysts say a gas body would not be able to turn gas taps on and off as Opec does with oil, but it could share insights on upstream contract terms when it deals with gas investors.
Gas consumers like the US and European states have opposed the formation of any gas body like Opec, arguing that the market should set prices.