TEHRAN: Iran is interested in Baku’s proposal to use Azerbaijan’s infrastructure for transporting energy resources to the world markets, Azerbaijan’s Energy Minister Natig Aliyev said.
He recalled that such an initiative was made by Azerbaijan during a summit of Gas Exporting Countries Forum held in Tehran on November 23.
“Azerbaijan enjoys a developed pipeline infrastructure. Besides existing pipelines running to Russia, Georgia, Turkey and Iran, the Southern Gas Corridor project is being implemented. All this infrastructure should be used effectively not only by Azerbaijan, but also by other countries,” the minister noted.
“We will hold negotiations, consider their proposals and possibilities of expanding our pipelines to transport Iranian energy resources,” Aliyev further said.
Many international transport routes, including the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan, Baku-Supsa, Baku-Novorossiysk oil pipelines and Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum, Azerbaijan-Georgia, Azerbaijan-Iran and Azerbaijan-Russia gas pipelines originate namely from Azerbaijan.
Energy-rich Azerbaijan is considered by Tehran as a suitable route for the transit of Iran’s massive natural gas resources to European consumers.
Iran, which holds 33.8 trillion cubic meters of proven natural gas reserves – or 18.2 percent of the world’s total proven reserves – has pursued multiple projects for years to pipe natural gas to Europe.
Iran’s geographical location makes it possible for the country to bring its gas to markets in Europe only via routes running through Turkey or Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan is already on the path to exporting not only its own natural gas to Europe, but Iran’s as well. Although international sanctions are still in place, Tehran seems willing to consider the idea.
It is believed that TANAP, which will later be linked to TAP, can become a reliable route for supplying Iranian gas to Europe. By joining TANAP, Iran is sure to strengthen Azerbaijan’s regional position as a transit country. This will not only bring economic benefits, but also political dividends that will be much more significant.