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Turkey, Iran may sign gas deal in November – extended

  Turkey and Iran have resolved problems on planned investment in the South Pars gas field and they may sign a production accord in November, Turkish Energy Ministry sources told Reuters on Thursday.

 

Turkey and Iran have resolved problems on planned investment in the South Pars gas field and they may sign a production accord in November, Turkish Energy Ministry sources told Reuters on Thursday. The sources, who declined to be named, said energy-import dependent Turkey was opposed to an Iranian plan to build a new pipeline to transport natural gas to Europe and that the planned Nabucco project pipeline should be used instead.

Turkey and Iran failed to conclude expected energy accords during Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s visit to Turkey earlier this year, but Turkish Energy Minister Hilmi Guler is expected to travel to Tehran next month.

Issues like investment, production and Iran’s buy-back system proposal, which tripped up the previous talks, a source close to the deal told Reuters previously, have now been worked out, the Energy Ministry sources said. Washington, which is trying to pressure Tehran to give up its nuclear program, opposes the deal. Analysts have raised skepticism that the large Iranian-Turkish energy deal will go through after several pledges by the countries that it was on track.

Turkey and Iran last year signed a preliminary accord on joint gas production and export under which Iranian gas would be exported to Europe through Turkey and Turkey would produce 20.4 billion cubic metres of natural gas in the South Pars gas field. The investment would amount to $3.5 billion.

The export of gas which is seen passing through Turkey to Europe, is foreseen at a total of 30 billion cubic meters and is also expected to carry an amount of Turkmen gas as well. Turkey has proposed the use of Iranian gas for the planned Nabucco pipeline, which has been conceived to decrease Europe’s dependence on Russian gas by exporting Caspian and Middle East gas to European Union markets.

The Ankara-Tehran agreement is also expected to contain electricity export from Iran as well, and the electricity export line will be completed by October 2009. A total of $1.5 billion in electricity investments is foreseen in the deal. (Reuters)