Iran eyes Europe gas market via Turkey
Iranian First Vice-President Mohammad Reza Rahimi says exporting Iran's natural gas to Europe through Turkey will be beneficial for both Tehran and Ankara, Press TV reported.
"Cooperation between Iran and Turkey in pumping Iranian natural gas to Europe is in the interest of both nations and governments," IRNA quoted Rahimi as saying in a meeting with visiting Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz in the Iranian capital, Tehran, on Saturday.
The Iranian official also stressed the need for implementation of all agreements reached between Tehran and Ankara on energy cooperation.
"Iran and Turkey should achieve their specified goals as soon as possible," Rahimi further explained.
Yildiz, for his part, said that his country is ready to increase its cooperation with Iran on energy and gas fields.
The Turkish minister further pointed out that Ankara is determined to help Tehran transit its natural gas.
Iran plans to provide Europe with natural gas via a pipeline scheduled to become operational in 2014 with the name Persian Pipeline.
Last month, Iran's gas exports to its northwestern neighbor hit records high.
"Iran has so far this year exported an average of more than 30 million cubic meters (mcm) of natural gas per day to Turkey," Iran's deputy Oil Minister Javad Oji said.
The new figure shows a daily increase of 10 to 11 million cubic meters this year, compared to last year, when Iran exported an average of 21 million cubic meters of natural gas each day, he added.
Oji, who is also the managing director of the National Iranian Gas Company, said Iran is ready to increase its export rates by 50 percent due to the freezing winter weather across Europe.
He also added that Iran's daily production of natural gas reached 600 million cubic meters this year.
The Iranian official also predicted that Iran's gas production is expected to double within four years.
Iran has the world's second-largest natural gas reserves after Russia and is Turkey's second-biggest supplier after Moscow.