TEHRAN, Aug. 18 (Mehr News Agency) - The Islamic Republic of Iran is to export natural gas to Europe via neighboring Turkey, said the oil minister upon his return from Ankara late at night on Wednesday.
This, however, is not going to take place through construction of a new pipeline to deliver gas to Europe. The current Iran-Turkey gas pipeline would be a good option to this end. Both sides have decided to consider the issue in the next round of talks in Tehran, Kazem Vaziri-Hamaneh added.
"During this visit, Iran's gas export projects through Turkey were clarified and will soon be finalized," PIN quoted the minister as saying on Friday.
"It was planned to increase the capacity of Iran's pipeline, which is connected to the Turkish pipeline, and export gas to Europe jointly with Turkey," said the minister without elaborating on when exports would begin.
Turkey buys gas via a pipeline from the northwestern Iranian city of Tabriz to Ankara, which was inaugurated in December 2001.
"There are three options to export gas from Iran to Europe via Turkey, of which, Nabucco Project (Turkey-Austria) and the existing pipe are still on the agenda," Vaziri-Hamaneh said, stipulating 90 percent of Nabucco's available capacity is going to be assigned for Iranian gas export venture.
"Moreover, five billion cubic meters of existing line between the two countries is to be allocated to us to transport gas to the border point destined for Europe," the minister elaborated, adding his counterpart expressed his respective government's willingness to invest in energy field in Iran during the talks held in Turkey last week.
Vaziri-Hamaneh also touched upon Azadegan venture with the Japanese and indicated, "We have reached an entente with them and Tokyo is expected to issue necessary permits to this end."
"Nevertheless, if they could not meet their own end of obligations, Iran will pursue the development plan at the oilfield on its own," he maintained.
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