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Russia's Energy Minister Novak due in Iran for important visit

Source: Press TV

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak will visit Iran on Oct. 21 at the head of a large economic delegation to discuss expansion of bilateral trade. In Tehran, Novak will meet Iran's Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh and other officials as the two countries seek to increase bilateral trade to $10 billion a year from $2 billion at present.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak (L) and Iranian Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh during a after a meeting in Tehran on Sept. 9, 2014. (photo by ISNA)

According to Iran's Ambassador to Moscow Mehdi Sanaei, the two sides will pay special attention to Iran's energy resources in their talks.

Lukoil, Russia's second largest oil producer, is in advanced talks with the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) to return to Iran. The company seeks to revive its stake in the Anaran project from which it pulled out in 2011.

Lukoil Chief Executive Vagit Alekperov is to meet Zangeneh in Vienna in December when OPEC gathers for a meeting.

Iran also wants Russia to build more nuclear power plants in the country similar to the Bushehr facility. They signed an agreement in November 2014 to build two more 1,000-megawatt units in Bushehr.

After the international nuclear accord with Tehran in July, Russia has acted quickly to cement ties with Iran but the two countries' plan to barter oil for goods is apparently facing hurdles.

Novak's visit to Tehran on Wednesday will come on the same day as Russian and other oil producers meet with officials from OPEC in Vienna.

On Thursday, he said Russia was prepared to discuss crude price ranges and output cuts when OPEC and non-OPEC countries meet for technical consultations.

Igor Sechin, CEO of Russia's largest oil producer Rosneft, blamed Saudi Arabia for the oil market depression, saying the kingdom is "actively dumping" its supply and expanding in Europe .

Novak said Russia still believes production cuts are "inefficient" as they only result in short-term price gains. "Any artificial price increases lead to investment inflows and, in turn, to price declines," he said.

President Hassan Rouhani has said certain major oil producers were collaborating with world powers to put Iran and Russia under pressure by bringing down oil prices.

... Payvand News - 10/16/15 ... --

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