Russian energy giant Gazprom has sent a note to Iranian authorities with a request to participate in gas liquefaction bids in order to enhance Iran’s gas project development and Iranian gas exports to Europe, Russia Beyond The Headlines reported. Currently, the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) is preparing the technical and economic justification for holding the tender.

Tasnim News Agency quoted Alexander Medvedev, the Deputy CEO of Gazprom, as saying: “”With regard to Iran’s export opportunities, they, of course, exist both in pipeline gas and liquefied natural gas. We do not exclude our participation in a number of projects in Iran, with export orientation.”

If Gazprom is successful in securing a deal with Iran, the company will be able to partially control Iranian gas streams to Europe, preventing the country’s competition with Russia. Gazprom is the biggest gas supplier on the European market, providing more than 25% of Europe’s needs. According to the company, they delivered 158.6 bcm of gas to Europe in 2015 alone.

Iran has yet to enter the European gas market, but to date Tehran delivers approximately 9-10 bcm of gas to Turkey each year.

In December 2015, Gazprom and the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) held talks on expanding Iran’s underground gas storage and its gas transport network, as well as equipment deliveries from Russia.