Nabucco pipeline project impossible without Iran: minister
Oil Minister Gholamhossein Nozari here Wednesday assured that it would not be possible to put Nabucco gas pipeline into operation without Iran, dismissing it as uneconomical.
„If Nabucco pipeline comes on stream, Iran will be the sole option for supplying its gas as the country is the world’s second-largest holder of natural gas,” said the minister, however adding other companies could also provide some part of the project’s gas. National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company (NIORDC) Managing Director Mohammadreza Ne’matzadeh had already announced that Europe had no way out but to satisfy its energy needs by transferring Iran’s gas via Turkey’s Nabucco pipeline. „Europe’s need in Iran’s gas supplies through Nabucco pipeline which passes through Turkey is inevitable,” he said, adding European countries needed Iran’s gas while Iran, for its turn, was in need of the EU market, stressing that such a trade deal would yield many political and economic fruits for both sides. „That’s why the new Nabucco pipeline which was proposed by Turkey for transferring gas supplies of Central Asia and Iran to Europe was welcomed by the energy ministers of Austria, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and Turkey itself and that’s why the said energy ministers in a recent meeting have each taken up a 20% share for the establishment of the pipeline.”
Turkey and Iran are expected soon to complete the agreement to build some 3,500 kilometers (2,200 miles) of gas pipelines to transport up to 40 billion cubic meters (1.4 trillion cubic feet) of gas annually to Europe through Turkey. Nabucco pipeline aims to reduce Europe’s dependency on gas from Russia, which has proved to be an unreliable energy supplier in recent years. European Union is lagging behind in implementing the project and has not made headway yet. A reason is that Europe has not found a proper alternative for Russian gas. It seems Nabucco project cannot be economically viable unless it transfers Iran’s gas to energy-hungry European countries via Turkey’s gas could be transferred via the pipeline by 2017.
The United States, in continuation of its hostile stance on Iran since the Islamic Revolution, has so far exerted pressure to impede Iran’s participation in the project. However, whether the US and its allies like it or not, Iran is the most reliable and best partner for the project. The latest EU report on the project said that it would start in 2013 and EU coordinator in Nabucco project predicted that Iran. The project faces two major obstacles; Russian concerns about possible participation of Central Asian countries and transfer of required technologies to Iran to control its high gas consumption. Independent gas transit deals signed between Moscow and former Soviet Union states and Russia’s contracts with Germany and Italy for laying gas pipelines will weaken the possibility of Central Asian countries in the project. Partners in the Nabucco project, whose name is taken from the Babylonian king Nabucco, famously known as Nebuchadnezzar, which expelled the Jews from Babylon, have set up their dreams to ensure energy security for Europe. They should know that their dream will not be materialized without peace and security in region traversed by the pipeline. (tehrantimes)
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