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Meeting: February 11, 2021: BREC gas and renewables emerging market series: 'a vision for Iranian gas exports in light of regional supply competition'

The last interactive discussion will addressed the topic of:


'BREC gas and renewables emerging market series: 'a vision for Iranian gas exports in light of regional supply competition'


The meeting took place online via zoom video conference on Thursday, 11 February 2021, 12-2pm Central European (Brussels) Time


Featuring special guest speakers

Dr Seyed MasoudDr Seyed Masoud Hashemian Esfahani (PhD)

Global Energy Associate, Brussels Energy Club

Former-Acting Deputy of the Minister

Director-General for Economics & International Investment Affairs

Ministry of Petroleum

Islamic Republic of Iran


Dr. Soleyman GhasemianDr. Soleyman Ghasemian

Head of the Economics Affairs and Asia-Pacific Region Office

Department of Commerce & International Affairs,

Ministry of Petroleum of Iran






For most avid energy security followers in Brussels, gas and renewables have long become a topic highly inter-twined on the one hand, if not a marriage of convenience on the other. During the period spanning roughly the years 2000-2010, very few of us could fail to keep a close eye on key gas supply security developments, bearing in mind those game changing supply disruptions emanating from the east. These led to our subsequent efforts to build an Energy Union and efforts to mitigate, in the midst of the growing shadow of the Shale Revolution from across the Atlantic. In the ensuing decade, as the drive towards sustainable energy culminated in the Paris agreements on climate, renewables have tended to super-cede gas as the new buzzword — the fashionable shade of green now somewhat outshining the flammable vision of blue.

Yet, while policy makers in Europe continue to push for renewables largely at the expense of fossil fuels, at the more global level gas and renewables are likely to coexist for quite some time. Indeed, spurred on by a bourgeoning, pre-Covid international LNG trade, demand for investment into a diversity of gas projects remains both politically and commercially desirable — directly in parallel to many governments likewise seeking to attract investment into renewable energy generation. This could, and should, create a more dynamic and diversified set of opportunities for energy investors to choose from, particularly in the emerging markets. We are, after all, living thorough an era of an "energy transition" and participating in the great changes taking place in the market is more desirable for many than merely observing from the side-lines.


Iran's gas export potential

In our next interactive discussion in the BREC gas and renewable emerging energy market series, we focus on Iran — a long-term production powerhouse driving the world"s oil industry, reliable source of some of the world"s largest gas deposits, and a country with vastly under-utilised potential in different types of renewable energy. During the ensuing meeting, Dr Hashemian will be joining us from Tehran and taking us through some of the key developments in the Iranian gas sector, particularly from the perspective of developing its export potential in light of multiple prevailing challenges. These range from geopolitical challenges arising out of the ongoing "grand game" of liberating Caspian gas as an export enhancer to the international consumer markets, working with effective yet aged infrastructure and enhancing the need for further investments, and navigating rapidly emerging international trends and regulations arising out of the accelerating global momentum for environmental and climate consciousness.

The government of Iran is presently targeting a range of international investor cooperation opportunities in the sphere of natural gas. Dr Hashemian, with reference to his more than two-decade long experience in government planning and strategy work at Iran"s Petroleum Ministry, will elaborate in a nuanced manner as to how he sees the prospects for Iranian gas developing in due course. He will dissect some of the prevailing challenges mentioned above in substantial detail, assess a number of planned gas pipeline projects seldom discussed amongst Western energy experts, and elaborate on how prospects for international business in the Iranian gas market can potentially come to fruition.

We look forward to seeing you online on February 11 for another lively meeting of the Brussels Energy Club


Program for February 11, 2021: 12:00 — 14:00 hours 

  • Online arrival, virtual welcome and introduction of speakers and guests
  • Setting out the debate by the Brussels Energy Club
  • Presentations by Dr Hashemian — live from Tehran ! 
  • Roundtable discussion with members and guests of the Brussels Energy Club
  • Meeting remains open for free-flowing online, B-to-B and B-to-G networking and exchange of zoom chat messages, both private and for the whole group
  • Brussels Energy Club will make all efforts to facilitate networking opportunities for participants.


Speaker information

Dr. Seyed Masoud Hashemian Esfahani served as the Acting Deputy for International and Trade Affairs and simultaneously Director General for Economics & Investment Affairs at the Petroleum Ministry of IRAN for a combined period of 13 years. Prior to that, he was Director General for Strategic Planning at the Planning Deputy Department of the Petroleum Ministry of IRAN for a period of five years. He recently retired from the government after a long period of national service. He managed and oversaw issues relating to strategic planning for the petroleum industry of IRAN for some two-decades. Dr Hashemian has a very sound knowledge of energy, geopolitics and the oil and gas trade, particularly in the Caspian and wider-Eurasian geography. 

Further, in his capacity as a senior researcher, Dr Hashemian worked for the International Energy Research Institute and during that period of his career, amongst his many other achievements, he translated the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) and its additional texts and appendices, into the Persian language. He was closely involved in the negotiations on the International Energy Charter political declaration, serving as a key negotiator and representative for the government of Iran during 2013-15. He remained closely connected to the Energy Charter Process after the time when Iran signed the declaration in 2016 and thus became an observer to the Energy Charter Conference.

Dr Hashemian was also Chair of the National Committee for Energy, Mines and the Environment of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) for a period of 13 years. He founded the ECO Oil and Gas Training Center in Tehran. ECO is an international organization founded by Iran, Turkey and Pakistan, and further comprised of Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tadjikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Dr Hashemian helped to initiate relations between the International Energy Charter and some of the ECO member countries, and generally helped to bolster relations between the two organizations. Furthermore, he has often represented Iran as Head of Delegation by virtue of his expertise in energy geopolitics at scores of international conferences, public and working group events.

Dr Hashemian holds an MA in the field of international Economics from Esfahan University and a PhD in the field of strategic management from the Supreme National Defence University (SNDU). In parallel to his government service, he gave lectures to Doctoral students at Tehran University and the SNDU, a set of activity in which he continues at the present time. He is member of UNCTAD World Investment Committee from 2002 and was the IRANIAN representative at The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) in 2009.

Dr.  Soleyman   Ghasemian is the Head of the Economics Affairs and Asia-Pacific Region Office at the Department of Commerce & International Affairs, Ministry of Petroleum of Iran, a position he has held since 2015. Prior to that, his work experience has been as follows:

  • Head of Long-term Planning Bureau — Department of Planning, Ministry of Petroleum, Iran (2008-2014)
  • Member of the Technical Committee for Formulation of the Comprehensive Energy Plan up to 2025 — The Supreme Energy Council of Iran (2005-2014).
  • Member of the Technical Committee for the Formulation of the fifth and sixth National Development Plans — Plan and Budget Organization of Iran (2008-2014).
  • Secretary of the Fifth and Sixth Development Plan for the Oil, Gas and Petrochemical Sector- Ministry of Petroleum of Iran (2008-2014)

As an Iranian government expert in the sphere of energy, Dr Ghasemian exhibits substantial expertise in the area of energy economics, energy geopolitics and energy foresight research. He is an active speaker-participant at numerous international events on the energy sector, representing Iran on such occasions. In one such example, Dr. Ghasemian participated in the IEF — IGU First Ministerial Gas Forum held in November 2008 in Vienna, where he jointly delivered along with Dr. Torkan (former-Deputy Minister for Planning and Hydrocarbon Resources Administration of the Minister of Petroleum of Iran) a presentation entitled "Iran-EU interdependence, requirements and cooperation in future gas market in the panel on "GLOBALISATION OF THE NATURAL GAS MARKETS". Dr Ghasemian holds a Master of Science degree in International Economics from Imam Sadiq (A.S.) University and a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in Energy Economics from Allameh Tabataba'i University. More information about the speaker can be found here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/soleyman-ghasemian-b0b01787/


Further information and participation

Registration is required for participation in this online meeting. Participation is free of charge for members and special guests of the Brussels Energy Club. A meeting ID and password required to enter the meeting will be sent to all registered participants on the evening of Wednesday, 10 February 2021.

Please contact us on info@brusselsenergyclub.org for more information.


You could find video summary here.