Iran to play constructive role in global energy market

Baku, Azerbaijan, May 29

By Aygun Badalova - Trend:

Iran will very quickly play a key and constructive role in the global energy markets, if the sanctions against the country are lifted, Sam Barden, director of Wimpole International, an energy market development company believes.

He told Trend that the Europeans are fully expecting sanctions to be lifted or begin to be lifted as a result of an agreement with Iran and P5 +1 on or before the 30th June 2015.

"I think they are correct in this belief and I am certain there will be an agreement and Iran will very quickly play a key and constructive role in global energy markets and energy cooperation in general," Barden said.

He believes that Iran, in particular could play a role as a transit country for Turkmen gas export to the European markets.

He added that foreign companies could be interested in investing in the development of Caspian sea's Turkmen part to the extent that they can export this gas via Iran.

Barden believes that the only ground for foreign companies interested in Turkmen gas is in the context that those companies believe sanctions will be lifted on Iran and that Turkmen gas will be able to flow through Iran

"More likely that Turkmen gas will be used in Iran and swapped for gas from Southern Iranian gas fields and exported to Europe. European companies would definitely be interested in this, and again, it will mean Iran will play a central role, be free of sanctions and undertake energy co-operation rather than energy competition", Barden said.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said during his official visit to Turkmenistan in March 2015 said that Iran is ready to ensure transit for transporting Turkmen energy resources, particularly, oil and gas to the third countries.

Recently Hossein Nejabat, member of the Iranian parliament's energy commission told Trend that Iran can be a reliable source for transiting Turkmen gas due to Europe, as Turkmenistan has not access to open seas.

"The most inexpensive way is to swap gas with Iran, which is currently being carried out, the MP said. "So, if the existing sanctions and restrictions are lifted, a considerable development in the regional energy sector will happen, especially in the transit of Turkmen gas via Iran. Of course, as I said, this proposed route should compete with some other serious rivals."

Iran annually purchases 12-14 billion cubic meters of gas from Turkmenistan and both countries are interested in increasing this volume to 40 billion cubic meters.

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.

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.

Follow the author on Twitter: @AygunBadalova

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