Iran's representative to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Mohammad-Ali Khatibi said that Iran would discuss swapping natural gas with Russia and Qatar at an upcoming meeting of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), Iran's satellite Press TV reported on Sunday.
"Gas swaps will be the issue of discussion for the troika at the next GECF meeting", Khatibi was quoted as saying.
Reportedly, Iran's Oil Minister Gholam-Hossein Nozari said on Saturday that Tehran-Moscow were holding talks to finalize a gas swap deal.
"Swaps are agreements by which a country can supply goods to another in exchange for the latter giving the equivalent to a third party."
Founded in Tehran in 2001, the now 15-member GECF groups Russia, Iran, Qatar and other leading gas producers account for some 77 percent of the world's gas reserves and 48 percent of production.
The Forum's role was strengthened this year as Russia, the world 's largest gas producer, intensified its efforts to tap energy globally and revealed its increasing interest on the potential price-control structure similar to the OPEC while denying it will be a gas cartel.
In October, representatives from Russia, Iran and Qatar, which total account for 56 percent of the world's natural gas reserves, met in Tehran and agreed to establish a "gas troika" for joint exploration and production, raising the curtain over the loose group's further development.