TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian gas is an unavoidable source for the Nabucco pipeline project, which will supply fuel from the Caspian Sea region to Europe, Iranian Oil Minister Gholam Hossein Nozari said.
“The Nabucco project can’t be carried out without Iran,” Nozari told reporters at a gas conference in Tehran yesterday. “Europe will eventually need to turn to Iran.”
The 3,300-kilometer pipeline aims to bring gas from the Caspian Sea via Turkey and the Balkans to Western Europe by 2013. The 7.9 billion-euro link is backed by the European Union in an effort to reduce energy dependence on Russia.
Such a project would need years to become cost-efficient and Iran was the only country with reserves to supply Europe over an extended period, Nozari said, according to Bloomberg. Iran has the world’s second-largest gas reserves.
OMV AG, Austria’s biggest energy company, is holding talks with Iran while “studying the possibility of shipping gas” from the country to Europe, the company said last month.
Shareholders in Nabucco include OMV of Austria, MOL of Hungary, Transgaz of Romania, Bulgargaz of Bulgaria, BOTA? of Turkey and RWE of Germany.
Iran also said last month it was seeking to build a $4 billion natural-gas pipeline to the EU that may rival Nabucco. The country was considering the two pipelines as a means for gas exports to Europe, Nozari said today, adding that the so-called Pars Pipeline was given “priority”.
Nozari said Iran was targeting a share of the global gas market between 8 and 10 percent without specifying a date. Iran currently has less than 1 percent of the global gas market.