Turkey and Iran have reached a preliminary agreement to carry natural gas from Iran and Turkmenistan to Europe, Turkish energy minister Hilmi Guler said Sunday.
The memorandum of understanding was signed away from the public eye Friday evening in Ankara after talks between Guler and Iranian oil minister Kazem Vaziri Hamaneh.
"We discussed some requests from Iran in return [for] their demand to export natural gas to European Union countries [via Turkey] ... As a result, we agreed on carrying Turkmen gas via Iran to Turkey, and then to Europe," Guler said in the northeastern city of Ordu, the Anatolia news agency reported.
Iran has also agreed to let Turkey develop several natural gas fields in Iran, he said, without elaborating.
Officials from the two countries needed to complete technical work for the agreement to be finalized, he added.
The deal is seen as boosting the prospects of a planned 3,300-kilometer (2,000-mile) pipeline project, known as Nabucco, to carry gas from the Middle East and Central Asia to the European Union via Turkey and the Balkans, bypassing Russia.
Turkey already buys gas via a conduit from the northwestern Iranian city of Tabriz to Ankara, which was inaugurated in December 2001.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 15 Temmuz 2007, 15:42