Turkey may supply Iranian gas to Nabucco
Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 29 / Trend S.Aliyev /
Turkey and Iran signed an intergovernmental memorandum on energy which envisages not only making of the Turkish investment in the Iranian gas projects, but also transportation of the Iranian gas to Turkey and to Europe, as well as transportation of the Turkmen gas to Turkey via Iran. Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz and Iran's Oil Minister Masoud Mirkazemi signed this document during Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Iran visit.
Under the document, Turkey's national energy company TPAO plans to invest in the development of several phases of the South Pars gas project in Iran.
According to the Turkish experts, Ankara will be able to receive about 35 billion cubic meters of gas per year with total reserves of the field in the volume of over 14 trillion cubic meters of gas.
Turkey will consume part of this gas itself and sell another part to Europe. Particularly, this gas may be transported via the Nabucco gas pipeline, which is currently under designing. However, this project can face difficulties because of Iran's political confrontation on one hand, and Europe and the United States actively lobbying Nabucco, on the other.
Moreover, the re-export of the Iranian gas to Turkey remains open, as in this case, it becomes its owner.
Transportation of the Turkmen gas to Turkey via Iran is also important for Ankara. Turkey already has a contract with Turkmenistan to purchase 30 billion cubic meters of gas. However, this issue was associated with construction of the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to Azerbaijan, with the possibility of transportation to Turkey.
Recently, Turkey has increasingly expressed its desire to participate in ensuring Europe with gas, although the country does not have reserves of this type of hydrocarbons. Turkey intends to achieve the possibility of gas re-export from other manufacturers, as all the major alternative gas supply routes (Russia), including Nabucco, Trans Adriatic and ITGI gas pipelines, to Europe started in Turkey.
Moreover, producer countries insist on Turkey's participation in these projects as a consumer and transit country. At present Azerbaijan and Turkey are negotiating on signing of transit agreement on transportation of the Azerbaijani gas to Europe. Although the sides have been holding negotiations for a long period, they have not achieved practical results yet.
The Nabucco project worth 7.9 billion euro will deliver Azerbaijani and Central Asian gas to the EU. Nabucco shareholders are the Austrian OMV, Hungarian MOL, Bulgarian Bulgargaz, Romanian Transgaz, Turkish Botas and German RWE with 16.67 percent each.Construction of the pipeline is expected to begin in 2011 and the first supplies - in 2014. Its maximum capacity will be 31 billion cubic meters per year. An investment solution on the project will be made in the first quarter of 2010. The Nabucco Gas Pipeline International will invest 30 percent of the project on basis of its share. The remaining 70 percent will be provided by international institutions.
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