Iran says stands ready to satisfy Europe’s gas needs
Iran says it has what it takes to become a supplier of natural gas to Europe.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif said on Monday that Iran has the same potentials that Russia enjoys to satisfy Europe’s gas needs.
However, Zarif emphasized, Tehran has no intention to take up rivalry with Moscow on this front.
“Tehran is a reliable partner,” Iran’s top diplomat told reporters in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana where he is on a mission to discuss regional as well as mutual issues. He emphasized that countries like Turkey that have natural gas cooperation deals with Iran have clearly realized that the country is a reliable energy partner.
Iran had for years pursued plans to export natural gas to Europe. A tentative scheme that was developed in cooperation with Nabucco – a consortium led by Austria’s OMV – envisaged piping Iranian natural gas from the southern energy hub of Assaluyeh to Turkey and thereon to Europe. However, Nabucco eventually abandoned Iran after complications emerged the most important of which were US-engineered sanctions against the Iranian energy sector.
This past Friday, stakeholders in the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) project – an alternative scheme for exporting gas to Europe – announced that it will be willing to pave the way for Iran’s investment in the project when international sanctions against the country are removed.
Part of the Southern Gas Corridor, TAP aims to transport gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field in the Caspian Sea by the end of the decade.
The 870 kilometer (545 mile) pipeline will connect to the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) near the Turkish-Greek border at Kipoi, and cross Greece, Albania, and the Adriatic, before reaching southern Italy.
The pipeline project is currently co-owned by the British Petroleum (BP) (20%), Azerbaijan’s state oil company, SOCAR (20%), Norway’s Statoil (20%), Belgium’s Fluxys (19%), Spain’s Enagás (16%), and Swiss-based Axpo (5%).