Azerbaijan, Baku, July 26 / Trend, A. Taghiyeva /
An Iranian gas transportation project to Europe via Syria and Iraq cannot become a rival to Nabucco pipeline project, as each of them has its own route and purpose, Syrian Deputy Oil Minister Hassan Zainab told Trend over telephone from Damascus.
"There is no way one can compare these two projects in terms of competition," Zainab said.
Oil ministers of Iran, Iraq and Syria signed an agreement to build a gas pipeline with length of 5,000 kilometers to supply Iranian natural gas to Europe in the Iranian city of Asalue on Monday, Fars news agency reported.
According to Zainab, this project is very important for Syria, because it will contribute to the recovery of the country's economy.
"Any pipeline that passes through territory of any country brings income to this country and creates conditions for the region's development. Transportation of the Iranian gas via Syria will create opportunities for the development of energy sector," Zainab said.
Zainab said the pipeline is aimed to supply gas to Iraq, which will also help develop the region's economy.
"This project is very important for Syria, so the country's authorities will work to be fully ready by the beginning of the project," he said.
Implementation of the project will require $10 billion. The gas pipeline will stretch from the Iranian gas-bearing region of Asalue through Khuzestan Province to the Iran-Iraq border and further - to Syria, Lebanon and across the Mediterranean - to Europe.
The capacity of the pipeline will be 110 million cubic meters of gas daily. Preparation of the agreement, which envisages not only gas transit to Europe, but also supplies to Iraq and Syria, will be completed by late year. The project will be implemented within five years.
Iran ranks second after Russia in the world for its natural gas reserves. It accounts for approximately 16 percent of world gas reserves.
Nabucco project is one of the "Southern Corridor" projects, which is one of priority energy projects for the EU. It is intended to diversify energy supply routes and sources and increase the EU energy security. In addition to "Nabucco" gas pipeline, the "Southern
Corridor" project includes Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), "White Stream" and ITGI (Turkey-Greece-Italy pipeline).
Austria, Germany, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania (members of the project "Nabucco"), Greece and Italy (projects ITGI, TAP) are the countries that have declared their intention to buy gas within the "Southern Gas Corridor".