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Old 07-16-2007, 07:03 AM   #1
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Turkish oil deal with Iran

TDN - with wire dispatches

An unexpected agreement between Turkey and Iran last Friday will have a notable affect on the 'parameters of energy wars' where Turkey, Russia, the United States, the European Union and countries in the southeastern Europe are trying to defend their interests. Turkey responded to oil and natural gas giant Russia's recent aggressive policy and secured the EU backed Nabucco natural gas project despite the United States objections to making energy agreements with Iran.

Iranian Minister of Petroleum Seyyed Kazem Vaziri-Hamaneh visited Ankara on Friday and met with Energy Minister Hilmi Güler. The two ministers signed a memorandum of understanding on Iranian and Turkmen gas export to Europe via Iran and Turkey.

Iran and Turkmenistan will pump 30 billion cubic meters of gas a year to Europe via Turkey, leaving no need for alternative supplies to the Nabucco pipeline project. The purpose of the Nabucco pipeline project is to decrease Europe's natural gas dependency on Russia. The pipeline, running across Turkey to Hungary and Austria through eastern Balkans, will be able to carry 31 billion cubic meters of gas a year from producers in Central Asia to consumer countries in Europe.Turkey and Iran have also agreed that the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) will produce 20 bcm natural gas in the three phases of Iran's South Pars gas field. This agreement would help Iran to open a new export market for Iran's massive reserves. Iran, with the world's biggest gas reserves after Russia, has been considering Ukraine and Turkey as possible routes to import its gas to Europe. In August 2006, it announced plans for a joint scheme with Ankara to use its pipelines.

Agreement to be finalized next month:

Hojjatollah Ghanimifard, international affairs manager of National Iranian Oil, said the memorandum of understanding will be finalized after the talks, Iranian news agency reported. He said the details of the memorandum including the project structure, way of investment, and capital sharing would be defined within the next month and would be finalized and signed during Güler's visit to Iran in mid-August.

Ghanimifard also expressed hope that by materialization of the agreement, Iran's gas would be exported to Europe. “Naturally, in order to export Iran's gas to Europe, gas pipelines should be laid between the two countries,” said Vaziri-Hamaneh. He also said that the project should be carried out on a 50-50 basis by the two sides.

Güler: Turkey to be energy corridor:

Hilmi Güler, speaking to reporters yesterday, said the recent move will allow Turkey realize its aim to become an east-west energy corridor. “Study groups will complete the work and we will realize the joint projects with Iran,” Güler noted. He also said that Iran permitted Turkey to produce natural gas in the three phases in southern Iran.

Güler stated that Turkey's strategy is based on securing the energy supply security to Europe. “Our talks with the EU on supplying Iranian gas through Nabucco are underway,” he added.

US opposes energy deals with Iran:

Fatih Birol, an expert on international energy issues, said the agreement is seen as a move against Russia's regional approach and would have international consequences. “But there are also some serious concerns,” Birol noted, referring to the U.S. objection on energy deals with Iran.

The U.S. policy by law restricts energy deals of third countries companies with Iran and threatens them with sanctions. The NTV private television channel reported Sunday that the U.S. Embassy in Ankara had contacted Turkish officials to investigate the validity of the press reports. The United States recently warned

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Old 07-16-2007, 10:57 AM   #2
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I think it is a good deal, good for Turkey, good for the EU. It will also keep Iran more closely anchored to sanity to have such deals, as well as giving Turkey the ability to counter some of the Russian influence in Central Asian energy assets. Meanwhile, EU will benefit from supply diversification and Gazprom's role as an emerging monopoly will be countered.

Don't get me wrong, I find Iranian regime as despicable as any, but I think sanctions are quite pointless. If Western companies don't operate in Iran, Russians and Chinese will anyway. It is senseless.

If the US is going apply sanctions to Turkey because of it, then so be it. It's not like Turkey is going to disregard its own interests on America's whim.

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Old 07-16-2007, 11:21 AM   #3
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What hypocrisy about the sanctions - Halliburton still operates in Iran, through a subsidiary. They even moved their corporate headquarters from Texas to Dubai partially to facilitate this. Iran has energy deals with China and India as well.
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