World Bulletin / News Desk
Iran could become a major supplier of natural gas to the European Union by the end of the next decade, according to new estimates from the bloc's executive following the nuclear deal reached with Tehran this summer.
According to a European official and a representative of a European energy company, the European Commission believes that around 25-35 billion cubic meters of natural gas a year could be exported from Iran to the EU by 2030. Such volumes of gas import could put Iran on a similar level to current imports from North Africa and help reduce the bloc's dependence on shipments from Russia. Russia currently ships around 130 billion cubic meters a year to the EU.
Now with Iran nuclear deal signed Western governments and energy companies would be glad to once again tap Iran's rich oil and gas reserves.
Earlier this month, the EU's energy and climate commissioner, Miguel Arias Cañ ete, held a lunch meeting with delegates from European energy companies to discuss possibilities in Iran.
The get-together followed contacts between commission staff and officials in Tehran, the European official said, as well as recent visits to Iran by ministers from the U.K., France, Italy, Poland, Germany and Spain, among others.
"We want our companies to go there and invest big time…before the Americans and the Chinese," said the official.
The commission and energy companies are walking a fine line in Iran. Tehran still needs to implement the nuclear deal reached in July, which isn't expected to happen until early next year. Until then, sanctions that have been preventing European energy companies from doing business in Iran for up to a decade will remain in place and limit their ability to pursue fresh ties.
A spokeswoman for the commission confirmed that European prospects in Iran were one of the topics discussed at the meeting, but stressed that the EU executive wasn't rushing into any formal arrangements.
"When the conditions are right we will look into starting a high-level energy dialogue with Iran," she said.Güncelleme Tarihi: 14 Eylül 2015, 09:44