Oman looks forward to fuel deal with Iran
Oman remains hopeful that talks between US and Iran will eventually lead to the much sought after natural gas supplies needed for the country to resume traffic through the Straight of Hormuz.
As reported by Reuters, Omani officials have been frequenting Tehran in order to continue negotiations in the hopes that the economic sanctions will be lifted from Iran. Oman has been attempting to buy fuel from Iran since 2005 but western sanctions have prevented any progress.
The Oman energy minister, Mohammed bin Hamad al Rumhy commented on the issue just after signing the biggest trade deal for fuel between the two countries.
"The new government of Iran has a different approach. We are very optimistic that all the political issues between Iran and the West, particularly, will be resolved," said al Ruhmy.
"This is our wish in Oman and we're working towards it... The feeling in Oman is that things are changing."
Oman has served as an ally country and been a go between during the dispute among the US and Iran regarding its nuclear energy program according to US Embassy cables published by Wikileaks.
While officials in Iran think gas exports could start as early as two years from now, it is unlikely that the physical pipeline to support such an exchange could even be started in that time.
Tehran has also made agreements with Iraq and Pakistan but Iran’s own personal use of fuel has created a need for import from Turkmenistan.
While the physical obstacle remain, the larger and more concerning issue if price. At this time, there is no agreement on the value of Iran’s fuel supply.
Jonathan Stern, head of gas research at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies had this to say.
"History is littered with Iranian regional gas pipeline schemes which come to nothing; this is a revival of one of them and I doubt it will make any progress."
In spite of the obstacles, Oman remains hopeful.