Oman and Iran had sealed a $60 billion gas agreement that would allow Muscat to purchase natural gas from Tehran for 25 years. The two countries are to build gas pipelines in two years. The subsea gas pipeline will guarantee Oman 20 million cubic meters of gas from Iran.
Oman first agreed to purchase natural gas from Iran in 2005, but due to western sanctions regarding Iran’s nuclear activity, Oman was forced to purchase gas from other countries such as Qatar and Pakistan at the US’ prescription.
Omani Oil Minister Mohammed bin Hamad al-Rumhy and Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanageh had signed a Memorandum of Understanding last year. Oman has closer ties with Iran than any other Arabian country who perceive Iran’s nuclear activities as a national security threat.
Pakistan’s failure to deliver oil and the increasing prices of oil from Qatar had urged Oman to take advantage of the lifted sanctions the UN had granted to Iran after it agreed to scale down its nuclear activities last year. Oman’s increasing energy needs has led it to close a deal with Iran
Meanwhile, Pakistan also eyes Iran to provide for its natural gas needs and Pakistani and Iranian officials are expected to meet next month to discuss proposals for a natural gas deal between the two countries.