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Iran ready to revive Nabucco project, supply gas to Europe

Iran is ready to supply Europe with gas via Nabucco, an abortive gas pipeline project, Iran's top official said on Monday, adding that two European countries had already showed interest.

As Europe intends to diversify energy resources routes, Iran with its major gas fields could supply gas to Europe via Nabucco, Deputy Minister of Petroleum for international affairs Ali Majedi told Iranian media on Monday, adding that Nabucco would be useless without the Iranian gas.

Delegations from two European countries have visited Iran recently to discuss possible routes for gas deliveries, he said without naming the countries. Majedi said different routes were possible, including supplies via Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Caucasia and the Black Sea, adding that he saw the Turkish route as the best option.

The deputy minister said gas from Shah Deniz gas field in the Caspian Sea would not be enough for the pipeline, as production at Shah Deniz would not exceed eight billion cubic meters a year, while the designed capacity of the pipeline was at least 23 billion cubic meters.

Ali Majedi also said Turkey had showed interest in taking part in gas deliveries from Iran to Europe. Besides, Iran could potentially supply liquefied natural gas to Europe, he said.

Nabucco is an abortive project of a 3,300-kilometer-long gas pipeline from Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan to European Union countries, first of all to Germany and Austria. The project was estimated at 7.9 billion euros. OMV Gas GmbH (Austria), BOTAS (Turkey), Bulgargaz (Bulgaria) and Transgaz (Romania) were parts in the consortium for pipeline construction.

Work on the project began in 2002. Initially, plans were to launch the construction in 2011, finishing it by 2014, but the project was repeatedly postponed because of problems with possible gas suppliers. In 2011, it was reported that the launch date was shifted to late 2018. In June 2013, an announcement came that the project had been closed in favour of a more promising project - the Trans-Adriatic pipeline.

[Source: Itar Tass, Theran, 11Aug14]

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