Iran needs investments to export its gas to Europe

Iran needs investments to export its gas to Europe

Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 12

By Aygun Badalova - Trend:

Iran needs investments to develop its infrastructure for exporting its gas to Europe, said former US Assistant Secretary for South Caucasus, ex-ambassador to Azerbaijan, director of the International Centre for Defense Studies in Tallinn Matthew Bryza.

In an interview with Natural Gas Europe, Bryza said that the export of Iranian gas to Europe will take a while.

"You'll see a really rapid uptick in oil volumes. They've got 40 million tons stored right now that could be released. They're going to increase production quite quickly once the sanctions are lifted over the course of a year or so," he said.

Natural gas, Bryza believes, will be a bit more difficult because the infrastructure's not there.

"Iran has underperformed on its gas deliveries to Turkey for some time. There will probably be a flood of investment to help Iran develop those pipeline interconnections into Turkey and beyond, but I think it will take a little while," he added.

Further speaking about the Southern Gas Corridor project, which envisages at its initial stage the transportation of Azerbaijani gas to European markets, Bryza said it is on track.

"It's going to happen: the gas contracts have all been let and the commitments are there to buy all the gas, so that's not a problem," Bryza said.

He said that Russia attempted last December to block the Southern Corridor by transforming South Stream, which the EU didn't want, into Turkish Stream.

"And I'm absolutely certain from all my years working on Turkey, living in Turkey that the Turks are too smart to allow themselves to undermine their own strategy, which is to become the central transit hub, trading hub over time of natural gas with good relations with Russia on natural gas, but not dependent on Russia - in fact, having diversified supplies so they can reduce the price of gas they pay from Gazprom, which is the highest in their portfolio," Bryza said.

The Southern Gas Corridor is one of the priority energy projects for EU. It envisages the transportation of gas from the Caspian Sea region to the European countries through Georgia and Turkey.

At the initial stage, the gas to be produced as part of the Stage 2 of development of Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz field is considered as the main source for the Southern Gas Corridor projects. Other sources can also connect to this project at a later stage.

As part of the Stage 2 of the Shah Deniz development, the gas will be exported to Turkey and European markets by expanding the South Caucasus Pipeline and the construction of Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline and Trans-Adriatic Pipeline.

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