MOSCOW, Jan. 14 (UPI) -- Russian gas monopoly Gazprom plans to help Iran develop a way forward to strengthen bilateral ties in the energy sector, officials said in Moscow.
Gazprom executives welcomed a delegation from Iran led by Noghrekar Shirazi, the deputy petroleum minister, to discuss an action plan for gas ties, Russia's ITAR-Tass reports.
"The parties discussed the existing and promising joint projects for the development of the Iranian gas condensate field South Pars, as well as potential cooperation in the implementation of regional pipeline projects and 'exchange' operations," said Alexander Medvedev, the deputy chief executive of Gazprom.
Tehran said it plans to embark on a five-year program of economic expansion beginning in March. The country aims to increase its gas production from 21 billion to 35 billion cubic feet of gas per day, said Shirazi. Oil production, meanwhile, is expected to increase 25 percent to 5 million barrels per day under the plan.
Gazprom is part of a group of international companies operating in the giant South Pars gas field in the Persian Gulf, the largest gas complex in the world.
Tehran, meanwhile, notes Gazprom could emerge as a partner in its long-awaited gas pipeline to Pakistan, which faces mounting scrutiny from Washington.
Gazprom established a working relationship with the National Iranian Oil Co. in 2008.