Iranian expert: Islami gas pipeline implementation is under question

Iranian expert: Islami gas pipeline implementation is under question

Azerbaijan, Baku, July 26 / Trend D. Khatinoglu /

The expert on energy issues Reza Tagizadeh doubtfully considers the implementation of the gas pipeline "Islami", held on the basis of an agreement between Iran, Iraq and Syria. He said that if Europe intended to buy Iranian gas, it would invite Tehran to participate in "Nabucco".

Iran, Iraq and Syria signed an agreement on July 25. It provides the construction of the gas pipeline from Pars Special Economic Energy Zone (PSEEZ). It will unite the Iranian region Asalue with Syrian Damascus. The length of pipeline is 5,000 km, capacity - 110 million cubic meters daily.

The South Pars field, with a half of Iranian gas reserves, is divided into 28 phases. At present, eight phases have been already modernized and the ninth and tenth phases are under improvement. Iran produces 220 million cubic meters of gas per day from this deposit.

According to OPEC statistics in July, Iran's gas reserves hit 33 trillion cubic meters.

Iran produces 600 million cubic meters of gas daily. This figure will be 1.2 billion cubic meters in 2012, Iranian Deputy Oil Minister Javad Oji said in an interview with media.

He said that six European investors stressed the readiness to invest in this project. The construction of the Islami gas pipeline is planned to be completed in 2014.
He did not indicate these European investors exactly.

Iran did not mention the names of European investors because of international sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran. It fears they can be included in a black list of the U.S, Trend Expert Council member Tagizadeh told Trend over phone from London.

"However, none of European investors will invest in this project," Tagizadeh said.

According to a decision of the U.S. Congress adopted last year, all companies investing over $20 million in Iran's energy sector are included in a "black list." As a result, Western large energy companies, including "Total", "Stat Oil", "Royal Duch Shell", "Eni" and others backed out of their Iranian operations.

The Iranian side said that "Islami" gas pipeline will deliver Iranian gas through Iraq and Syria to Europe. So far, none of European countries has declared that it will buy gas from Iran.

Europe does not consider Iran as an energy partner, otherwise, it would invite Iran to participate in "Nabucco," he said.

According to BP statistics, Iran produced 138.5 billion cubic meters of gas in 2010 and the country's internal needs in gas is 136.5 cubic meters.

He said that Iran has enough gas for export.

"Oil production in Iran is annually reduced by 350,000 barrels per day," he said. "Iran has to fill the oil wells by 200 million cubic meters of gas per day to maintain stable oil production. However, they have the opportunity to fill the wells by only 60 million cubic meters. So, Iran will not have extra gas reserves for export in the near future."

He said that "Islami" gas pipeline is motivated only politically.

He said that the situation in Syria and Iraq is unstable. Moreover, Bashar Assad's power, which will not sustain people's protests, may be changed. For this reason, none of investors will invest in "Islami" gas pipeline project given security.

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