Iran Presses Europe with Gas

Iran Presses  Europe with Gas

Azerbaijan, Baku, 6 Dec / Trend , corr. S.Aliyev /Iran's statement on non- participation in the Nabucco gas project and construction of its own gas pipeline (Persian Pipeline) to deliver gas to Europe gives rise a range of issues concerned with implementation, distribution and sale of gas.

Construction of its own gas pipeline, which is assumed as alternative to Nabucco pipeline, envisages deliveries of Iranian gas to Europe through the territory of Turkey. However, a question remains obscure, who will become the buyer of this gas and the territory of which countries the pipeline will pass.

Recently, Iranian Deputy Petroleum Minister Akbar Turkan stated about the intention of his country to construct the Persian Pipeline with the length of 3,300 kilometers, which will become an alternative pipeline to Nabucco. Iran plans to transport its gas to Europe via the territory of Turkey by means of the new gas pipeline with the cost approximately $6bln.

According to representatives of the European Union and Nabucco project, currently, delivery of Iranian gas to Europe is not envisaged, and even is not considered. The reason for this is sanctions, which was imposed on Iran due to its nuclear program. The basic gas suppliers for the Nabucco project now investigate other countries of the Caspian region - Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan.

Nabucco, which is lobbied by the E.U. and the U.S. envisages gas supply from Azerbaijan and the Central Asia to E.U. countries. Within the framework of the project of development of the second stage of the Azerbaijan Shah Deniz field the Nabucco gas pipeline International consortium expects to obtain 8bln cubometers of gas per year.

At the second stage of the realization of Nabucco project, consortium waits the analogous gas consignment from Iraq. Initially project assumed gas supply from Iran fields in the Persian Gulf. Due to the conflict around the Iranian nuclear program and failure of E.U member-countries to transport Iranian gas via this gas pipeline, it was decided to change the project so as to have a capability to supply gas from Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan in 2006.

A question regarding the construction of a new Iranian pipeline remains open. Improbable seems the fact that European countries seems to grant their territory for transit of Iranian gas to E.U. in the present terms. The current sanctions imposed on Iran actually impose ban on E.U countries to have commercial relations with Iran. Thus, sale of Iranian gas to these countries is not possible.

Iran's statements about the construction of the new gas pipeline are have political, rather than economic purposes. According to representatives of this country, the decision about construction of gas pipe is made in response to anti-Iranian sanctions from the side of European countries and the U.S.. In this case the Iran representative stated that they will base on the support of Russia (both countries are the participants of the gas troika - so called "gas OPEC") on creation of a new route decrease the chances that Europe will support this pipeline. First of all, this is explained by the desire of Europe to diversify energy-deliveries, and to decrease sufficiently serious dependence on the Russian gas.

At the same time it is not possible to exclude possible deliveries via the re-export system. In particular, Iran can sell Turkey's gas, which will in turn realize it on the European market. However, this version is improbable, since it is unknown, whether Europe will assume it and whether Iran will want to sell its gas on the border with Turkey.

Lift of sanctions from Iran will considerably increase the prospect of the design of the Persian Pipeline. Teheran possesses after Russia gas reserves in the volume of approximately 28tln cubic metres, which makes it one of the basic players on the world gas market. The presence of enormous reserves of gas and its own pipeline will convert this country into one of the basic suppliers of this form of raw material for world markets and direction of deliveries will depend not only on the economic, but political motivations of this country.

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