Azerbaijan – only route taking Iranian gas to Europe
Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr. 14
By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:
No doubt that any country's policies are affected by economic issues, especially the energy issues. Only a few countries don't use their energy resources to exert political pressure on the countries that depend on those resources.
Azerbaijan is one of the countries that don't use energy resources as a means of pressure. Azerbaijan's energy projects have no alternative in the world thanks to the country's transparent energy policy.
Today, Azerbaijan is successfully implementing important projects, TANAP being one of them. TANAP will play a great role in ensuring Europe's energy security after TAP is constructed.
There are also such countries in the region, as Iran, Russia and Turkmenistan, which are also important in terms of energy issues.
Iran, Russia and Turkmenistan have repeatedly stated their readiness to import natural gas to the world markets. Russia is currently the largest supplier of natural gas to Europe. But, evidently, the Europe-Russia relations push the EU to seek alternative sources of gas.
After lifting of sanctions against Tehran, Iran can become a new alternative gas source for the EU. And taking this into account, Federica Mogherini, the EU's high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, will visit Tehran on Apr. 16.
Along with development of bilateral relations, Mogherini is also to discuss the Iranian gas supply to Europe.
Iranian authorities have repeatedly said the country is interested in exporting gas to Europe, but currently, the exports to neighboring countries is a priority. Moreover, Iran has said that the route through Turkey is the best one for exporting its gas to Europe.
Tehran will likely export gas to Europe as LNG. But currently, Iran doesn't have an LNG plant. The country started to build such a plant, called the Iran LNG, in 2007 and around $2.5 billion is needed to complete its construction.
There are also problems in transportation of Iranian gas to Europe through Turkey. First of all, there is no infrastructure needed for that purpose.
As much as 9.65 billion cubic meters of gas is exported to Turkey's domestic market a year via a gas pipeline running between Iran and Turkey. That pipeline has a capacity of 11.2 billion cubic meters of gas a year.
That means it will be necessary to create a new infrastructure for exporting Iran's gas through Turkey and additional investments will be needed for this.
Given that currently, the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) terrorist group is active in the region, the creation of a new infrastructure also seems unreal.
So, if Iran is going to start gas transportation to Europe, it will have to use the Southern Gas Corridor and TANAP, as they are the safest routes in the region.
Edited by EA
Rufiz Hafizoglu is the head of Trend Agency's Arabic news service, follow him on Twitter: @rhafizoglu