TEHRAN – Iranian Oil Minister Javad Oji has said sanctioning the owners of the world’s biggest gas reserves will have devastating consequences for the environment, stressing that the global energy market should be depoliticized, Shana reported.


Addressing the 24th Ministerial Meeting of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) in Cairo, Egypt, Oji said: “Using energy as a political tool and sanctioning the most important owners of natural gas reserves will have irreparable consequences on the world’s environment and will make it impossible to achieve the United Nations’ sustainable development goals.”

“I believe that the realization of a global ecosystem with zero carbon emission will remain only a slogan without political will, financial resources, investment in infrastructure, and serious scientific and technological cooperation of all nations,” he said.

Underlining the important role of natural gas in the world’s energy transition, the official stated that the members of the GECF assembly should put new policies on the agenda to promote and facilitate natural gas consumption.

Oji further emphasized the need to pay more attention to environmental issues, saying: “As a person who has worked in engineering and management activities in Iran's gas sector for many years, I believe this [reducing carbon emissions and protecting the environment] is possible considering the existing technical and engineering capabilities.”

Emphasizing that it is necessary for developing and developed countries to pay serious attention to new technologies in various fields such as carbon absorption, utilization, and storage of natural gas, and reducing the leakage of methane or blue hydrogen, he added: “Fortunately, new technologies for reducing the carbon emission in the natural gas production process are widely available if there is the political will to do so.”

The official finally stressed the need for improving the GECF status in the global gas market for ensuring the world's energy security, saying: “I suggest that joint thinking and construction cooperation among the members of the assembly should be promoted at strategic, managerial and technical levels.”

“I believe that the exchange of successful experiences among member countries at the mentioned levels is very important,” he added.

The 24th GECF Ministerial Meeting was held on Tuesday, October 25, in Cairo, the capital of Egypt.

The ministerial meeting is the highest governing body of the forum, and according to the GECF statute, it is held once a year.

Algeria, Bolivia, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Iran, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Russia, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela are 11 main members of GECF, and Malaysia, Norway, Iraq, Peru, Azerbaijan, UAE, and Mozambique are observer members in the forum.

GECF Members account for 43 percent of the world's gas production and own 72 percent of the world's gas reserves; 55 percent of the gas transmission by pipeline and 50 percent of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) trade is also carried out by GECF member states.