Iran Could Become Conduit of Turkmenistan Gas Headed for EU

Iran Could Become Conduit of Turkmenistan Gas Headed for EU

EU’s energy chief says he has discussed the possibility of transiting Turkmenistan’s gas via Iran with the Central Asian state’s leader.

European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic made the announcement after talks with Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov in Ashgabat.

The two discussed the idea of building a pipeline through Iran “since diplomatic relations with Iran are developing positively”.

Iran and the P3+3 group of countries are currently holding talks in New York on a final draft deal which would put their decades of differences over Tehran’s nuclear program to rest.

“The EU hopes that negotiations between the big six and Iran conclude successfully,” Turkmen state television quoted Sefcovic as saying Thursday night.

EU Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete has also said Europe was keeping the possibility of importing gas from Iran open as it seeks to diversify sources of energy.

“It’s clear that if finally there is in the month of June a final agreement with Iran, it opens new possibilities in the future,” he said earlier this month.

The Europeans are currently promoting a trans-Caspian pipeline to ship Turkmenistan’s gas to Azerbaijan.

But the project is fraught with a slew of problems. Besides being economically not viable, the project is hazardous to the Caspian environment.

More importantly, the legal regime of the inland sea is a matter of dispute among its littoral states, namely Iran, Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan.

The Europeans are currently working on the “Southern Corridor” route to transfer Azerbaijan’s gas. However, the country does not have enough gas to make the pipeline viable and that is where other Caspian states come to the picture.

Sefcovic said, “The European Union expects natural gas supplies from the Caspian region to Europe to begin in 2019-2020.”

Iran has already an operational gas pipeline with Turkmenistan and another with Turkey.

According to BP estimates, Iran sits on the world’s largest gas reserves, put at 34 trillion cubic meters.

Turkmenistan, which has a land border Iran, possesses the fourth largest reserves of natural gas in the world.

The Europeans are looking for alternative sources of energy as tensions rise with Russia which is their biggest supplier of gas.

Source: Press TV


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