Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 2
By Fatih Karimov - Trend:
Iran is studying possible ways to export gas to Europe, including Nabucco (Nabucco west) and Trans-Anatolian pipeline projects (TANAP), a senior Iranian oil official said.
The director of international affairs at National Iranian Gas Company Azizollah Ramezani told Mehr News Agency on August 1 that Iran is studying economical and operational conditions for choosing the most economic and the most secure way to export gas to Europe.
"Based on results of the studies, the best choice will be selected", he said, adding that gas exports to Europe is one of the long-term policies of the Iranian gas industry.
However, the first priority is to export gas to the neighboring countries, especially to the Persian Gulf nations, he noted.
Nabucco West project was the rival of the Trans-Adriatic pipeline (TAP) project in competing for the transportation of Azerbaijani gas to European markets, but failed.
Azerbaijani gas (as well as the potential other gas from Iran, Turkmenistan, etc) would be delivered to Europe through the Southern Gas Corridor by 2020.
The Southern Gas Corridor consists of South Caucasus Pipeline (Azerbaijan, Georgia), Trans Anatolian Pipeline or TANAP (Turkey) and Trans Adriatic Pipeline or TAP (Greece, Albania, Italy).
The concept of the Nabucco West project envisaged the construction of 1,300-kilometer pipeline (412 kilometers running through Bulgaria, 469 kilometers - Romania, 384 kilometers - Hungary, 47 kilometers - Austria) from Turkish-Bulgarian border to Austria's Baumgarten.
Earlier, Ramazani said on July 30 that stretching a gas pipeline from Iran to Europe needs 10 billion euro worth investment.
He said that so far nothing new has happened regarding gas export to Europe and stressed that as the situation seems ripe, strong will is needed and the sides should pursue talks seriously.
He pointed out that according to studies conducted by the European Parliament, Iran could export 25 to 30 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe annually.
Iran has the long-term potential to become one of the world's top gas producers, thanks to its 34 trillion cubic meters of natural gas reserves, or around 18 percent of the world's total, Fitch Ratings said in a report on July 10.
Iran's current raw gas output stands at 660 million cubic meters per day (mcm/d), but it is planned to increase the figure to 1,100 mcm/d by 2019.