Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 4
By Tamkin Jafarov - Trend:
The Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) can become a reliable route for supplying Iran's gas to Europe, Mehdi Mohtashami, the head of the secretariat of the Azerbaijan-Iran intergovernmental commission for cooperation in trade, economic and humanitarian spheres, told Trend exclusively August 3.
"Iran is examining various routes for supplying its gas to other countries, and TAP is one of those routes," he said. "We have already had preliminary talks with Azerbaijan and have done certain work in this regard."
In particular, as Mohtashami said, Iran conducted researches on the supply of its gas to Europe via Azerbaijan.
"A month ago, the head of SOCAR (the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan), Rovnag Abdullayev visited Tehran, where he had fruitful talks with Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh," he said. "In addition, Iran's Deputy Oil Minister for International and Commerce Affairs Amir Hossein Zamani Nia visited Azerbaijan."
Mohtashami added that there were very good discussions on the Iranian gas supplies to Europe via Azerbaijan.
"Iran has one of the world's largest gas reserves, therefore has interest in its exports," he said, adding that his country is currently supplying gas to Turkey.
Mohtashami also highlighted the possibility of investing jointly with Azerbaijan in the energy sector.
"Both countries have many areas for cooperation in the oil and gas industry: gas supply through Iran to the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, Iran's participation in the TANAP and TAP projects, cooperation in the projects in the Caspian Sea, the swap supplies, etc.," he said.
Mohtashami also conveyed Iran's desire to increase its share in the 'Shah Deniz 2' project, where the Iranian company NICO holds 10 percent share.
He said a serious progress has been made on the mentioned issues.
TAP will transport natural gas from the giant 'Shah Deniz 2' field in Azerbaijan to Europe.
The approximately 870 km long pipeline will connect with the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) at the Turkish-Greek border at Kipoi, cross Greece and Albania and the Adriatic Sea, before coming ashore in Southern Italy.
The pipeline's construction is expected to start in 2016.
TAP's initial capacity will be 10 billion cubic meters per year, expandable to 20 billion cubic meters per year.
TAP's shareholding is comprised of BP (20 percent), SOCAR (20 percent), Statoil (20 percent), Fluxys (19 percent), Enagás (16 percent) and Axpo (5 percent).
Edited by CN