Azerbaijan, Baku, July 30 /Trend, corr. D.Khatinoglu/
Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi will visit Ankara this week for talks with Turkish officials expected to focus on Turkey's oil and gas purchases from Iran, Turkish energy ministry officials told Reuters on Monday.
Qasemi was expected to meet Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz on Thursday, the officials said.
Iran exports 160,000 barrels of oil and 26 million cubic meters of gas per day to Turkey.
Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi underlined two weeks ago that Iran has several projects to export gas to the west and eastern countries, including the European Union through Turkey, without mentioning the route.
Iran has addressed contrary routes for exporting gas to EU so far. The National Iranian Gas Export Company which was dissolved on July 20, 2012 and Swiss Elektrizitaetsgesellschaft Laufenburg (EGL) signed a 25-year deal in March 2008 to deliver 5.5 billion cubic meters of gas per year.
Iran has repeatedly announced that its gas is planned to be transited through the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) to Switzerland. However, Michael Hoffmann, director of external affairs and communications at the TAP project told Trend on July 15 that the pipeline does not intend to transport any gas from Iran.
The second potential route for transit of Iranian gas through Turkey to EU is via the Nabucco West Pipeline which already excluded the Iranian name from gas suppliers' list.
The little known project of Iran-Turkey-Europe Natural Gas Pipeline Project (ITE) is another option for transporting Iranian gas to the EU. According to the ITE official website, for a transit passage of natural gas sourced in Iran to take place through Turkey, the two countries had already signed an agreement protocol on November 17, 2008.
"The total length of the pipeline under the project is about 5000 km with a 35 mcmpd capacity with the Turkish section being about 1750 km. Turang Transit Transportation has obtained a natural gas pipeline certificate which is valid for 30 years, for the construction of the part of the pipeline between Iran at Bazargan/Dogubeyazit and the Ipsala Edirne/Greece border".
Last week, Iranian outlets reported citing the Greek Energia portal that Turang Transit will issue tenders in November-December this year for the construction of the Turkish section of the link and work is expected to begin next year for a 2016 start-up. However, this report has not yet been confirmed officially.
According to BP's last annual statistics published in June, Iran produced 138.5 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas in 2011, while its gas consumption was 136.9 bcm during same period. Iran has only 1.6 bcm/y of surplus gas per year. However, Iran says that it is preparing to double gas production by launching new phases of the joint South Pars field. Iran is producing about 240 mcm/d of gas from operating 10 of 29 phases at South Pars field each day.
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