Oman and Iran ink deals on oil field, gas pipelines: official

Oman and Iran ink deals on oil field, gas pipelines: official

Oman and Iran ink deals on oil field, gas pipelines: official

Oman and Iran ink deals on oil field ( Credit : Google)

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  • The two countries signed agreements to develop gas pipelines and an oil field.
  • A deal was reached about two decades ago to allow Iran to supply Oman with gas.
  • The Hengam oil field is located in the strategic Strait of Hormuz near the UAE.
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Oman’s energy minister announced Saturday that the sultanate and Iran had signed agreements to develop two gas pipelines and an oil field along their maritime border, less than two weeks after Iran’s president visited the sultanate.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi paid a visit to the United States on May 23, despite the fact that international discussions to revive an agreement on Tehran’s nuclear program have stalled, leaving the Islamic country under sanctions.

The official Oman News Agency announced at the time that the two countries had signed oil and gas memorandums of understanding, but gave no further specifics.

On Saturday, the agency quoted energy minister Mohammed al-Rumhi as saying the agreements were “related to the development of the two gas pipeline projects linking the two countries and the Hengam oil field”.

A deal was reached about two decades ago to allow Iran to supply Oman with gas, but the project never materialized.

Sanctions on Iran complicated efforts to execute that project, and could also make it difficult to implement the new deal.

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The Hengam oil field is located in the strategic Strait of Hormuz near the United Arab Emirates.

Read more: Iran says tankers were seized because Greece ‘stole’ oil

Oman has close political and economic ties with Iran and played a mediating role between Tehran and Washington in the build-up to the original nuclear deal in 2015.

Stop-start talks began in April last year to restore the deal, after the US unilaterally withdrew from it in 2018 and reimposed biting sanctions on Iran, prompting Tehran to roll back its commitments.

The 2015 agreement gave Iran relief from crippling economic sanctions in exchange for curbs on its nuclear activities.

The sultanate, which faces Iran across the Gulf of Oman, endured economic pain during the pandemic, with its GDP dropping 6.4 percent in 2020 and government debt soaring.

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It saw rare protests over high unemployment and lay-offs last year.

Raisi made his second trip to a Gulf country since taking office in August 2021.

In February, he paid a visit to Qatar, where he met Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani and attended a summit of gas exporting countries.

Read more: Iran supreme leader accuses ‘enemy’ of trying to use protests

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