The four new subsidiaries of NIGC are Gas-Khodro, Gas Transmission, Gas Storage and Iran Gas Trade.

NIGC, which is itself a subsidiary of the state-run National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), has been stepping up activity in the last few months in a bid to attract international interest in the country’s struggling gas sector.

NIGC signed a 25-year natural gas purchase deal with Swiss firm EGL in early April estimated to be worth between $15-20bn.

The firm is also finalising a deal to supply natural gas to Bahrain at a rate of 1 billion cubic feet per day (cf/d) from 2010 which may eventually rise to as much as 2 billion cf/d.