Iran can be a reliable route for transiting Turkmen gas due to Europe – MP

Business Materials 2 May 2015 16:47 (UTC +04:00)

Tehran, Iran, May 2

By Temkin Jafarov, Mehdi Sepahvand - Trend:

Meeting energy needs is one of the most important issues which affects geopolitical, regional, continental, and even ultraregional relations.

Asia, Central Asia, and Southwest Asia are the hubs of energy. Transfer of energy to Europe is both favorable for exporters and importers, as well. There are usually different routes for transferring natural gas or liquefied natural gas, known as LNG, via a main pipeline.

While Turkey and Turkmenistan are discussing cooperation to convey gas to Europe, Turkish Minister of Energy Taner Yıldız said that Ankara is ready both in political and technical terms to convey Turkmenistan's gas via the Caspian Sea and Turkish soil to Europe.

The Turkish official said that disagreements between Turkey, Turkmenistan, and Azerbaijan on the projects relate to security concerns.

Meanwhile, the Islamic Republic says that Iran is the more suitable choice for transferring the gas to Europe.

"I think transferring gas via a pipeline is the most logical and justified option," Hossein Nejabat, member of the Iranian parliament's energy commission told Trend May 2.

There are different routes to transfer gas from Central Asia to Europe. Russian officials have proposed the route which passes from Russia.

Turkey attempts to play role and transit gas via its soil. Naturally, producers and exporters pay attention to security and stability. They do not want to invest while security of the route is endangered, Nejabat added.

Meanwhile, consumers seek to import gas from the cheapest possible source. This turns the issue into a multiple variable problem.

"In my opinion, thanks to its security, Iran can be a reliable source for transiting Turkmen gas due to Europe, as Turkmenistan has not access to open seas. The most inexpensive way is to swap gas with Iran, which is currently being carried out," the MP said.

"So, if the existing sanctions and restrictions are lifted, a considerable development in the regional energy sector will happen, especially in the transit of Turkmen gas via Iran. Of course, as I said, this proposed route should compete with some other serious rivals," he concluded.

Mehdi Sepahvand is Trend Agency's journalist in Iran, follow him on Twitter: @mehdisepahvand