Iran and Qatar strengthened bilateral ties through a sum of 14 cooperation documents last month which covered various sectors.
Iran plans to launch its project to link its energy grid to Qatar, in a deal that was sealed last month during the Iranian president’s visit to Doha.
Iran’s Energy Minister, Ali Akbar Mehrabian, noted that the energy connectivity with the Gulf country will enable Tehran to maximise its “hard currency revenues” from electricity exports.
The Islamic Republic’s electrical grid is currently connected to seven neighbouring countries which include, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan.
Iran exports electricity more than 10 months of the year, with countries like Iraq, relying increasingly on electricity and natural gas exports from Iran to fuel its power sector, according to reports.
The annual revenues derived from electricity exports, which account for a small portion of Iran’s total power output, is almost equivalent to the income gained from selling electricity to domestic customers, according to local media.
With Qatar being added as the potential eighth country, Mehrabian expressed that Iran will be able to “allocate more electricity supplies to exports in the upcoming years.”
The minister explained that a potential link-up with Russia could occur within a year.
Iran and Qatar’s shared energy sector
Located in the Persian Gulf, the world’s biggest natural gas reserve is shared between Iran, which calls its portion South Pars, and Qatar, owner of the North Field, which is also referred to as the North Dome.
Qatar along with international firms have used the field and transformed it into the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas. Iran, however, due to crippling international sanctions has experienced a slow development in its South Pars.
In December 2013, Qatar offered its help in response to a request from Iran to develop its share (South Pars) of the gas field, so that both can enjoy maximum and long-term rewards from the extractions.
The giant gas field holds approximately all of Qatar’s gas production and around 60 percent of its export revenues.