Iran has held negotiations with Georgia about the export of 300-500mcf/d of Iranian natural gas through established channels in Armenia, boosting its profile in the regional market, reported Press TV.  No further technical or financial details were given.

Gas export to Georgia is intended for its domestic use in power generation, and not to be shipped to Europe. Iran’s Minister of Petroleum, Bijan Zanganeh, said that Iran’s “priority was first to export gas to neighbors, because pipeline exports [to Europe] are not profitable as there are transit fees and pipeline installation costs.” He added that Iran was aspiring to become a regional gas hub. National Iranian Gas Exports Company’s (NIGEC) Managing Director, Alireza Kameli, further explained that Iran is to export gas to the European markets only in the form of LNG.

In related news, Iranian officials were reported as saying that a rise in Iran’s awaited oil exports should not dampen global price of crude as exports would reflect future global oil demand, according to Reuters. Minister Zanganeh added that Iran did not intend to exacerbate the global oil market, but was aiming at regaining its market share after the sanctions would be fully lifted.

According to National Iranian Oil Company’s (NIOC) Director General for International Affairs, Mohsen Qamsari, Iran’s market quota is to be raised steadily and with caution. Tehran is also looking into buying stakes in refineries abroad, a method employed by the global oil majors, subjected to an approval by the Iranian government.