Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 16
By Dalga Khatinoglu - Trend:
Iran says it is not planning to export natural gas to Europe, even if gas prices go up.
Alireza Kameli told Mehr News Agency Nov.16 that a pipeline of about 5,000-km length should be constructed from 'South Pars' gas field to Europe to transit Iranian gas to the continent, but alongside the cost of this huge project, the big gas transit fees make Iranian natural gas export to EU uneconomical.
However, he said that exporting LNG to European markets is in Iranian Oil Ministry's top agenda.
Iran has to construct 1850-km ninth cross-country pipeline from 'South Pars' towards its border with Turkey, which is expected to cost $6 billion.
Another gas pipeline is needed from Turkey's east to west to connect to a new pipeline project in Europe.
There are Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) and Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), aimed to transit Azerbaijani gas to EU, and they can be used to carry Iranian gas as well, but Iranian officials says the transit fees are high.
Kameli said regional markets such as China, India and Japan, with high gas demand growth, are more beneficial for Iran compared to European market.
Iran has plans to increase gas extraction from the current level of 700 million cubic meters per day (mcm/d) to 1,100 mcm/d by 2019.
The country is to export 200 mcm/d (200 billion cubic meters per annum- bcm/a) of gas in 2020.
However, Iran has a contract with Turkey to export 10 bcm/a of gas there, as well as 18.25 bcm/a to Iraq and eight bcm/a to Pakistan.
Iran also signed a memorandum of understanding to export 10 bcm/a gas to Oman.
Iran has developed an LNG plant with 10.5 million tons of annual production capacity (above 14 bcm/a), which is expected to commence in 2018.