Energy: When Europe undertakes the task of saving Iran …

Energy: When Europe undertakes the task of saving Iran …

On May 19, the Commissioner of the EU on Energy and Climate Change Miguel Arias Canete is expected to visit Iran, according to a report in the Spanish newspaper El País, to discuss with the competent officials the future of EU’s co-operation with Iran in the field of Energy.

This visit is due to take place after the U.S. announcement of its withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement. As the El País report points out, Iran and Europe can develop a good co-operation in the energy sector thanks to the fact that Iran has the world’s second largest natural gas reserves and hosts the world’s fourth largest oil reserves.

Also, Iran desperately needs infrastructure projects and European companies can carry out this mission…

Meanwhile, the meeting in Brussels between the Iranian Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, with the High Representative for Foreign Policy and Security of the EU, Federica Mogherini, and the Foreign Ministers of Germany, Britain and France, preceded the upcoming one.

After that meeting, Federica Mogherini noted that despite the latest developments Europe is seeking the ways in which its companies will operate in Iran.

Unfortunately, and in spite of its signed agreement with the Iranian government in late 2016, with a 50.1 per cent stake in South Pars’ largest gas field in Iran, French Total S.A. announced its withdrawal from the country because of the U.S. decision to re-impose sanctions against Tehran.

This was because the agreement signed with Iran and Barack Obama in 2015 limited Tehran’s nuclear programme in exchange for lifting some sanctions, which allowed Iran to restore oil exports and Western companies to be able re-invest in the country.

Experts from both sides are considering possible ways to keep exports of Iranian oil to the EU as they are and to defend European companies in Iran, while the leaders of the 28 EU member states agreed in Sofia to pursue a “united approach” in the effort to maintain the 2015 agreement on Iran’s nuclear programme.

Iran planned -and possibly it is still planning- to export 5 to 10 million tonnes of LNG to Europe, with the simultaneous infrastructure projects (in Iran) that will allow it or the export of 25-30 billion cubic metres of natural gas per year to European countries, through a truly complex pipeline network with the assistance of Turkey…. / IBNA