Iran continues to weigh options to transport its profuse natural gas resources to Europe and emerge from a marginal exporter merely in the region, Financial Tribune daily reported on Sunday. All of Iran’s gas exports, of about 40 million cubic meters per day, flow through pipelines, mainly to Turkey and Iraq, the report said.
This is dwarfed by Iran’s production that stands at around 880 mcm/d, most of which are burned to meet the increasing demand at home. “Gas export through pipelines will be cheaper. LNG allows Iran to transport its natural gas anywhere in the world without facing political challenges,” Mohammad Hossein Adeli, the Iranian secretary-general of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum, was quoted as saying.
Iranian officials have for years were considering construction of gas pipelines through Azerbaijan or Armenia in the northwest through Europe, but the scheme has not taken off due to financial reasons as well as complications of bringing together several nations to execute a multibillion-dollar joint venture. Iran has considered gas export routes to Europe with an annual capacity of 25-30 billion cubic meters a year.
However, with plans to construct thousands of kilometers of gas pipeline to Europe looks like a distant possibility, Adeli said. Europe will be a difficult market for Iran to tap into, as Russia continues to dominate the European energy market.