Iran’s Minister of Petroleum, Bijan Zangeneh, called the US sanctions unfair, barring Iran from having access to billions of dollars of its hydrocarbon exports, adding despite all geostrategic challenges, we have progressed significantly in energy sector...
Zangeneh made the remark during the 22nd annual ministerial meeting of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) which is being held through videoconference on Thursday.
The following is a transcript of Zangeneh’s speech:
President Abdelmadjid Attar,
Distinguished Secretary-General Yuri Sentyurin,
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is a great privilege to attend this 22nd GECF Ministerial Meeting through videoconference, presided over by, His Excellency Abelmadjid Attar, Minister of Energy of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria. This meeting is unique in many ways; it is being held during a pandemic unprecedented in the last hundred years. The mere holding of the meeting is a success story for GECF.
Working under the threat of a deadly pandemic with all the psychological pressure that accompanies it takes courage, motivation and resilience.
As one of the founding members of the GECF, I take pride to see this Forum grew so strong, efficient and prestigious. All these took place in less than two decades since May 2001. GECF has taken big steps to pave the ground for target – oriented and specialized dialogue on gas issues with gas producing and consuming countries and international energy institutions and organizations. The flagship publication of the GECF:” Global Gas Outlook 2050” heralds that despite all odds, including the pandemic, the geo-strategic challenges that slow down global economic growth and the changing behavior of gas consumers, better days are ahead of GECF, its members and other gas producing countries as a whole.
In the last four years the international community has experienced a big blow to is efforts to promote international cooperation, multilateralism, sustainable development, and to a certain extent, globalization. The cross Atlantic relations has been disturbed, US-China trade war has negatively influenced global economic growth, US withdrawal from many international treaties and achievements, including the JCPOA, that constituted the results of years of painstaking multilateral negotiations, are all indications of a paradigm shift in international relations.
US sanctions has unfairly robbed Iran of several Billion Dollars of income from export of hydrocarbons.
The revenue thus deprived from my country could have helped us better fight COVID 19 and protect our population with better medical services and better social and economic incentives for COVID 19 lock downs. I believe, US Administration is largely responsible for the daily loss of around 400 lives in Iran.
Despite all these geostrategic challenges, we have had major accomplishments in our energy sector. Relying on domestic human resources, technology and investments, we have reached a sustained production of 1 Billion Cubic meters of gas on a daily basis. 95 percent of 85 million population of my country have access to piped gas in their homs. Our oil and Petrochemical industries have made great strides in term of home-grown technology and going through the value chain.
The last four years of geo-strategic challenges and the crisis of Covid 19 must teach us, particularly oil and gas market players many lessons. The first and foremost among these lessons is solidarity and international cooperation to face a global crisis. Bullies are created and nurtured by us. We must withstand this instinct.US sanctions has unfairly robbed Iran of several Billion Dollars of income from export of hydrocarbons.
The long-term forecasts for natural gas demand indicate that by 2050, the share of natural gas in the global energy basket will increase from the current 23% to 28%. However, the share is not enough to help achieve the global goals of sustainable development and climate change, especially over a long period of 30 years. As suggested before, for gas to achieve a 30% share in the world energy basket by 2050, the GECF should seek new approaches to induce global gas value.
Expanding and applying decarbonization technologies in the process of production and transmission of natural gas and the development of blue hydrogen production technology are among the ways to enhance gas consumption within the energy transition period.
I am confident that you all agree that today, materialization of the lofty goals of establishment of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum requires further cooperation, coordination and depoliticized of energy environment.
Practicing active diplomacy, compiling analytical reports on the gas market as well as gas long-term outlook, the Secretariat has provided a good opportunity to make the Forum as recognized as possible. Efforts should be made to introduce Gas Exporting Countries Forum as a reliable reference for natural gas expertise in the world.
Once again, I wish to thanks our distinguished President and Secretary-General for their hard work and for the excellent arrangement of this unique videoconference meeting that could prove the way forward.