06/03/2014, 00.00
KUWAIT
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Kuwait open to Iran natural gas imports

Talks began during a visit by Kuwait's Emir Sabah Al-Ahmed Al Sabah to Tehran. "Iran has large quantities of gas and Kuwait is in need of Iranian gas through cooperation between the two countries," Kuwait's oil minister said.

Madinat al-Kuwait (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Kuwait's oil minister Ali Saleh Al-Omair was looking forward to an agreement with Iran to secure much-needed natural gas supplies.

"Iran has large quantities of gas and Kuwait is in need of Iranian gas through cooperation between the two countries," Omair said in Tehran during a visit by Kuwait's Emir, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al Sabah, to Iran.

Last month, the oil-rich OPEC producer lined up US$ 15 billion's worth of gas supply from BP and Royal Dutch Shell to help meet soaring demand.

Kuwait also signed a contract to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) from fellow Gulf state Qatar to help meet its energy needs

Demand for gas in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states is rising on the back of growing populations and an industrial boom.

Iran sealed a preliminary agreement to export gas to the Gulf state of Oman in March, after an agreement dating back to 2005 was revived during a visit of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to the capital Muscat.

However, for some analysts, Iran, which holds the world's largest gas reserves, is unlikely to provide a quick supply fix for gas-hungry Gulf States, even if it reaches a deal with world powers over its nuclear programme and sanctions are lifted.

Kuwait, home to a sizeable Shia Muslim minority, is a US ally, and is seen by some as a potential bridge between Iran and the Gulf Arab states, including Saudi Arabia.

 

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