Baku, Azerbaijan, August 5
By Temkin Jafarov - Trend:
Iran is ready to consider the possibility of transporting its gas to Europe via the Trans-Anatolian pipeline (TANAP).
Iranian Minister of Communication and Information Technologies Mahmoud Vaezi made the remarks at a meeting with head of the Azerbaijan State Oil Company (SOCAR) Rovnag Abdullayev.
Responding to the offer of the Azerbaijani side, the minister stressed that coordination is needed between the Azerbaijani and the Iranian oil and gas companies in order to meet the needs of the European market in the gas.
TANAP project envisages transporting gas from the Shah Deniz field through Turkey up to the country's border with Europe.
The pipeline's initial capacity is expected to be 16 billion cubic meters per year. About six billion cubic meters of gas will be delivered to Turkey and the rest to Europe. The pipeline's capacity can be further expanded to 31 billion cubic meters of gas per year.
TANAP shareholders plan to lay the pipeline's foundation in 2014 and commission it in 2018. TANAP project's cost is estimated at $10 billion to $11 billion.
Furthermore, the expediency of cooperation of companies of the two countries in the development of oil and gas fields in the Caspian Sea was noted at the meeting.
"Azerbaijan and Iran has large oil and gas reserves, which indicates the need for increased cooperation between the countries in this area, as well as in the oil and gas industry as a whole," Vaezi said noting the great similarity between the different spheres of the two countries.
Despite the great potential for cooperation between Azerbaijan and Iran in the oil and gas sector, the Iranian mnister called the current level of relations unsatisfactory.
"Iran considers it very important to ensure the needs of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, in particular in the energy sector. And for us, there is no barriers in this regard,"Vaezi said.
Azerbaijan supplies gas to Iran within swap operations to provide the NAR with "blue fuel". Some 125 million cubic meters of gas were supplied through Iran's territory to the territory of the NAR within the swap operations during the first four months of 2014. Iran also expanded the fuel supply from Azerbaijan up to one million cubic meters.
It was decided to create underground gas storage at the salt deposit base to secure the sustainability of gas supplies to Nakhchivan.
An underground gas storage facility with a storage capacity of 200-300 million cubic meters will be sufficient to meet the needs of the NAR.
Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic is under siege because of the occupation of 20 percent of Azerbaijani lands by Armenia.
Edited by CN