Iran Presents a New Gas Maxi-Hub Project

Iranian Oil Minister Javad Owji: “Russia, Qatar, and Turkmenistan can participate in the new megaproject.”

Projects for the construction of gas hubs are multiplying, and they will have to make the distribution networks of blue fuel more widespread and seamless between Southern Europe, the countries of the Mediterranean, and the Middle East. Following Turkey, Iran also presented its project that may involve some major gas producers such as Russia, Qatar, and Turkmenistan.

Iranian Oil Minister Javad Owji said to Tasnim news agency that a gas sorting and trading center could be built in the south of the country. “Iran has the world’s second largest gas reserves, and with the joint readiness of Russia, Turkmenistan, and Qatar, we want to launch a maxi-hub in the village of Assalouyeh, in the southern part of the country,” Owji said, stressing that “preparatory work has already been planned.”

Russia also confirmed the feasibility of the project. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said that Moscow and Tehran have begun specific discussions on “the possibility of creating a gas hub in southern Iran.” According to Novak, a project of this magnitude “will require extensive international participation from partners and suppliers.” In addition, the implementation of the hub project may push Iran to activate new production sites with the possible participation of Russian companies in the gas and oil sector. At the same time, Novak noted that specific facts will take time and effort. “There is an idea, but it is being developed now, so it will take time for it to shape-up,” the Russian Deputy Prime Minister said.

Turkey will also be able to build a mega-hub of its own gas, which it currently imports from Russia via the Black Sea using two pipelines – Blue Stream and Turkish Stream. After his re-election as President of Turkey on May 24, Recep Tayyip Erdogan reaffirmed Ankara’s interest and pointed to the province of East Thrace, near Istanbul, as the most suitable territory for implementing the project, which may also involve Algeria, Azerbaijan, and Qatar.

The Turkish Ministry of Energy said last month that the gas trading center could be operational as early as the end of 2024. “Its operation will allow us to sell more gas to European countries, as well as diversify the sources of supply for Turkey,” said Energy Minister spokesman Fatih Donmez.

The gas hub is just one of the major international projects of Iran that has recently stepped up its activities aimed at strengthening the position of the Islamic Republic in the world. In addition to political and commercial projects that include an intercontinental super-railway that will originate from St. Petersburg in Russia, cross Iran, and arrive in Mumbai as the final destination, there is also a kind of political-military alliance between Iran and Saudi Arabia that after years of hostility finally restored bilateral diplomatic relations. This week, the embassies of Iran and Saudi Arabia in Riyadh and Tehran reopened their doors. Iranian Navy Commander-in-Chief Admiral Shahram Irani said that “Iran, Saudi Arabia, and some other countries in the area intend to form a naval coalition for joint defensive operations north of the Indian Ocean.”

In fact, on June 6, the Aerospace Forces of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard presented the first hypersonic missile that got the name Fatah (“Victory or conquest” – ed.). Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi also attended the ceremony.

According to Irna news agency, the hypersonic ballistic missile covers the range of 1,400 kilometers, and its speed before hitting a target reaches Mach 13-15, which is more than 16,000-18,500 kilometers per hour. According to the guardsmen, Fatah is highly maneuverable and is able to deceive the most sophisticated radar systems and overcome existing and even future anti-missile shield systems.