Iran says it will discuss swapping natural gas with Russia and Qatar at an upcoming meeting of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF).
Speaking to Dow Jones Newswires, Iran's OPEC Governor Mohammad-Ali Khatibi said "gas swaps" will be the issue of discussion for the troika at the next GECF meeting.
Iranian Oil Minister Gholam-Hossein Nozari touched on the issue on Saturday, saying that Tehran-Moscow talks are underway to finalize a gas swap deal.
Analysts believe the current gas dispute between Russia and Ukraine, which led to a halt in Russian supplies to Europe, has prompted Moscow to seek alternative routes for its gas exports.
Swaps are agreements by which a country can supply goods to another in exchange for the latter giving the equivalent to a third party.
The world's biggest gas exporters officially formed an organization in a December meeting in Moscow, where the member states adopted a charter for the GECF.
Iran, Qatar and Russia -- holders of the world's largest gas reserves -- have separately created a 'gas troika' to expand trilateral gas cooperation and implement joint projects.
Khatibi reiterated that the newly formed organization was "dedicated to technical cooperation", dismissing concerns that the gas forum would be similar to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
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