Iran lobbies its interests in Turkmenistan
Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, Apr. 20
By Huseyn Hasanov- Trend:
Iran is ready to ensure transit for transporting Turkmen energy resources, particularly, oil and gas to the third countries, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said during his official visit to
Turkmenistan in March 2015.
The sale of Turkmen electricity through Iran to Turkey can be cited as a good example of the fruitful "transit" cooperation.
Moreover, one can remember about the resuscitation options of swap regime (reimbursement), if we talk about the re-export of Turkmen oil.
The very idea of natural fuel exports to the third countries through Iran is not new and dates back to 1990s. In due time, Shell company prepared a feasibility study of the project to build a separate transnational gas pipeline to Europe via Iran and Turkey. That period there were the applications for other routes - through Iran to the Caucasus. However, all this documentation has been postponed until better times due to the West cautious attitude to Tehran's nuclear program.
President Rouhani said during the talks in Ashgabat that Iran is ready to significantly increase the purchase of Turkmen gas for its needs. As it is known, Turkmenistan provides the north-eastern provinces of Iran, which are far away from the rich gas fields around the Persian Gulf, with fuel.
Iran receives Turkmenistan's gas via several branches, and the major of them is the Korpeje-Kurt-Kui gas pipeline, which was commissioned in December 1995.
Its capacity was increased to eight billion cubic meters per year, with the potential to further increase it up to 14 billion cubic meters.
The gas buyer is the National Gas Export Company of Iran. In 2010, an additional gas pipeline was commissioned. It runs on the Dovletabat-Serahs-Hangeran route, and also has a potential towards increasing its capacity.
It is known that, Iran is partly paying for Turkmenistan's gas with barters.
Iran's ambassador to Turkmenistan, Mohammad Musa Hashemi Golpayegani earlier told Trend that, for transiting the Turkmen gas through its territory, Iran has the appropriate technical capabilities, including the gas transit network in any direction.
The diplomat said Iran and Turkmenistan haven't yet discussed in what direction the gas will be transited, however, they supported the idea of transit.
Obviously, Iran's developing the full cooperation with its neighboring countries can improve its image and give the local economy some dynamics thanks to the "transit" potential of the country.
The opening in late 2014 of a railroad running on the Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran route, no doubt, can be considered Iran's breakthrough from international isolation.
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, during his official visit to Turkmenistan, stated that, "the trade between Turkmenistan and Iran is to grow up to $60 billion in the next ten years."
The current statistics is more modest: in late 2014, the trade of the two countries was a little more than $3 billion.
Edited by CN
Huseyn Hasanov is the Trend commentator