Iran General NewsIran plans to build $4 billion natural gas pipeline...

Iran plans to build $4 billion natural gas pipeline to Europe

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ImageBloomberg: Iran is seeking to build a $4 billion natural-gas pipeline to the European Union that may rival projects backed by the EU and Russia.

By Ladane Nasseri

ImageSept. 24 (Bloomberg) — Iran is seeking to build a $4 billion natural-gas pipeline to the European Union that may rival projects backed by the EU and Russia.

Iran in talks with a "renowned European company" that may operate the so-called Pars Pipeline, Deputy Oil Minister Akbar Torkan said in an interview in Tehran today.

"Surely, European countries are thinking about creating a lifeline in addition to Russia," Torkan said. "Countries that believe buying gas from Iran is important enough and that don't want to be manipulated by others will collaborate."

International sanctions have prevented Iran from drawing the technology and financing necessary to liquefy gas and export it via tankers as LNG, or liquefied natural gas. Iran, which holds the world's second-largest gas reserves after Russia, doesn't export the fuel any farther west than neighboring Turkey.

The Pars Pipeline is Iran's answer to the EU-backed Nabucco link and OAO Gazprom's South Stream project, Torkan said. Those competing projects are designed to supply western Europe with Caspian gas.

—-With reporting by Lucian Kim in Moscow. Editors: Brad Cook, Jonas Bergman

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