Iran can strengthen regional impact as controller on Turkmen gas transportation

Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan. 8 / Trend H. Hasanov /

Iran is fighting for the opportunity to provide Europe with Turkmen gas. Iran's chances to be a controller are high. Independent observers adhere to such opinion.

"Tehran would like to take the role of the Kremlin. Until recently the Kremlin held regional influence due to monopolization of the export of Turkmen fuel to the world markets, including Europe," a Western diplomat said.

He said any economic project of regional scale is vitally important for Tehran living in conditions of the international isolation. It has a geopolitical effect. Iran is situated between Turkey and Turkmenistan. Recently, it has successfully ensured transit for cross-flow of energy from Turkmenistan to Turkey and facilitate the sale of oil (on the principles of "swap") to the Gulf region.

According to experts, not by chance Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz was invited to the ceremony of putting into operation the Turkmen-Iranian gas pipeline on January 6 (from the eastern field of Dovletabad).

High-ranking official managed to hold "fruitful" talks with the presidents of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedow and Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the lobby.

Iranian media outlets said the Turkmen side has recently joined the negotiation process. In any case, Berdimuhammedow in his welcoming speech in Dovletabad stated that the implementation of the Turkmen-Iranian project contributes to the diversification of routes.

Official Ashgabat is sure that, besides pure economic effect, diversification serves to strengthen the country's sovereignty, its right to free choice of business partners, avoiding politicization of commercial projects.

It should be noted that at this stage, capacity to pump Turkmen gas to Iran increased up to 14 billion. According to the short-term prospect, they will up to 20 billion cubic meters. These are significant amounts for the global energy system.

Tehran and Ankara have a common gas distribution systems. They have been considering the variants for the transit of Turkmen gas for a long time (Ashgabat has recently imposed a ban for re-export). According to Iranian media, the negotiation process and has recently joined the Turkmen side. In any case, Berdimuhamedov in a welcome speech in Dovletabad stated that the implementation of the Turkmen-Iranian project contributes to the diversification of routes.

Official Ashgabat sure that in addition to purely economic diversification effect serves to strengthen the State's sovereignty, its right to free choice of business partners, avoiding politicization of commercial projects. Note that at this stage of the carrying capacity to pump Turkmen gas to Iran rose to 14 billion, according to the short term - they will grow up to 20 billion cubic meters, and it is already a significant amount to the global energy system.

In his turn, Ahmadinejad urged at the ceremony that Iran can be another chance for Turkmen energy resources to be delivered to the alternative markets. It is noteworthy that Ashgabat in 1990 acted as the initiator of this idea.

While opening the first inter-state gas pipeline from western field Korpedje in Turkmenistan to the Iranian city of Kurt-Kui in mid. 1990, it was symbolically written Turkmenistan-Iran-Europe on the pipeline. Feasibility of Shell was prepared. Shell is one of the leading oil and gas companies in Europe. However, its implementation has been blocked due to cautious attitude of Washington.

At the same time, the global financial crisis is pushing Brussels to consider Iran in the Nabucco gas pipeline project as a supplier. So, the possibility of using this country as a transit one is not ruled out.

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