Crescent insists Iran gas deals are still on

Crescent Petroleum insists that its contracts with the National Iranian Oil Company to export natural gas to the UAE are still valid, despite Iranian media reports to the contrary.

Crescent Petroleum, the Sharjah-based oil and gas company, has insisted that its contracts with the National Iranian Oil Company to export natural gas to the UAE are still valid, despite Iranian media reports to the contrary. Mehr, the Iranian news agency, reported on Saturday the 25-year contract that NIOC signed with Crescent in 2001 had been nullified, citing a statement by Javad Oji, the deputy oil minister of Iran.

But a Crescent company spokesman said the contracts were still in effect. "The Iranian official's statement appears to have been misinterpreted," said the spokesman. Dana Gas, Crescent's partner in the deal, also said Mehr's report was incorrect. "The contract remains valid and internationally binding on the parties," said Ahmed Rashid al Arbeed, the chief executive. "The 25-year contract between NIOC and Crescent is valid, internationally binding and currently in international arbitration, as is known, and neither side has cancelled it."

Crescent, a privately owned oil and gas company, previously constructed an undersea pipeline linking Iran with the UAE, which was completed in 2006. However, a spat between the two companies over the pricing of gas supplies has meant the pipeline has lain idle ever since. ghunter@thenational.ae

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