Azerbaijan’s minister of energy says the Islamic Republic can join Trans-Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) in order to export its natural gas to European countries.

Addressing the International Caspian Oil and Gas conference in Baku on Wednesday, Natig Aliyev, noted that given its rich oil and gas resources, Iran is up for partnership in TANAP pipeline as it “can play an important role in providing energy security in Europe.”

“Iran is a country with a great potential in the region. If the process continues, Iran could join TANAP and import its gas to Europe,” he added.

The Azeri minister noted that his country produced 42 million tons of oil and 29 billion cubic meters of gas last year and is planning to maintain its oil output stable at up to 45 million tons a year.

Saying that Baku aims to double its natural gas production, Aliyev added, “With such gas production volumes we plan to start implementation of a new gas program including its production, processing and export.”

The Azeri oil minister also stated that demand for natural gas will certainly grow among member states of the European Union by 2035, though the bloc will supply up to 30% of its needed energy through alternative energy sources.

Iran’s ambassador to Republic of Azerbaijan had already announced that the Islamic Republic will study available opportunities to join TANAP natural gas pipeline.

In an interview with Azerbaijan’s Trend news agency, Mohsen Pak-A’een noted that presence in global gas markets is among basic policies of Iran.

He said Iran has 33.8 tcm of proven gas reserves, accounting for 18.2% of the world’s total gas resources.

This is not the first time that Iran’s huge hydrocarbon resources have prompted other countries to seek Tehran’s partnership in energy projects.

An official of Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) project announced in early April that the stakeholders in the pipeline would be willing to pave the way for Iran’s investment in the project when international sanctions against the country are removed.

“TAP is open to new shareholders, which can add strategic value to the project,” Lisa Givert, TAP’s communication head, told reporters in the Azeri capital, Baku.

Sanctions against Iran were imposed by the US and European Union at the beginning of 2012, alleging that there was diversion in Iran’s nuclear program toward military objectives. Iran categorically rejected the allegation, noting that its civilian nuclear program is only meant for peaceful purposes.

The Islamic Republic and the P5+1 group of countries – the US, the UK, France, Germany, Russia and China – reached an interim agreement on Tehran’s nuclear program in the Swiss city of Geneva last November, followed by a statement of mutual understanding on April 2 in the Swiss city of Lausanne, which is considered a prelude to the achievement of a comprehensive deal before a self-designated deadline at the end of June. A key point of Lausanne statement was a promise to lift a series of economic sanctions on Iran – including those on the country’s energy sector.

Source: Press TV