More issues for unsanctioned Iran before sending gas to Europe
Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 18
By Aygun Badalova - Trend:
The lifting of the sanctions against Iran makes the country's gas an interesting alternative both for Turkey and Europe, analyst at "Eurasia Energy Observer" Andrej Tibold believes.
"However, the lifting of the sanctions against Iran does not mean that Iranian gas will come to Europe," Tibold told Trend.
International sanctions imposed on Iran with regard to its nuclear program were removed as the the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA, aka nuclear deal) entered the implementation phase on Jan. 16.
Tibold believes that the existing disagreements between Iran and Turkey over Syria will complicate the realization of Iranian gas supplies to Europe via Turkey.
He stressed that the Turkish Stream gas pipeline project was halted as a result of the conflict in regional geopolitical interests over Syria between Turkey and Russia.
"Iran similarly has interests in Syria and the region, which do not align with those of Turkey and might diverge even furthermore," Tibold said.
Tibold believes that it would make sense for Iran to put its money on LNG export capabilities.
"This would give it the options to supply global markets and not be physically tied to a single market," Tibold said.
Iran has already expressed its interest to export LNG to Europe.
Earlier Head of National Iranian Gas Exports Company Alireza Kameli said that the export of gas to Europe is not economically beneficial for Iran.
"A pipeline of about 5,000-km length should be constructed from 'South Pars' gas field to Europe to transit Iranian gas to the continent, but alongside the cost of this huge project, the big gas transit fees make Iranian natural gas export to the EU uneconomical," he said.
Iran has already developed an LNG plant by 50 percent and it is expected to become operational in 2018 with 10.5 million tons annual production capacity. Within the next three years the country expects to launch five LNG projects.
Currently Iran reportedly is in talks with France, Germany and Belgium for construction of LNG tankers.