HomeMediaLatest NewsIran will help Gazprom: it is only necessary to switch the pipeline to reverse

Iran will help Gazprom: it is only necessary to switch the pipeline to reverse

Belogoryev Alexey M. Research and Development Director, Director of the Center for Energy strategic analysis and forecasting

Alexey Belogoryev, Research and Development Director of the Institute for Energy and Finance, commented on the prospects for Russian-Iranian cooperation in the gas sector to Mashnews.

Alexey Belogoryev notes that Iran has a strained gas balance: on the one hand, against the background of extremely low domestic prices and almost 100% gasification, consumption is steadily growing from year to year (by 60% over the past 10 years), and production is barely keeping up with it. Because of this, there are constant problems with gas shortages during periods of peak demand (not only in winter, but even sometimes in autumn and spring). Russia can supply gas through Azerbaijan to the northwestern provinces of Iran, however, to cover the deficit, it is more profitable for Iran to use Turkmen gas as cheaper and "close" to the main consumption centers.

"The agreement reached so far looks like a framework: it has yet to be filled with content, and it will not be easy," the expert notes. - Iran's need for Russian gas to supply the domestic market is low: no more than 3-5 billion cubic meters per year, and it is not long-term."

Iran, according to Belogoryev, is generally not interested in increasing dependence on gas imports, including due to its high cost. For Russia, it is not Iran's domestic market that is of interest, but promising export swaps. But Iran cannot implement them yet: it does not have its own large-capacity gas liquefaction facilities, and the start of pipeline exports to Pakistan is constantly postponed due to the incompleteness of the gas pipeline on the Pakistani side (the US actively opposes the project, putting pressure on Islamabad for years). There is still the possibility of supplies from Iran to Iraq and Turkey, but their volumes are limited by the size of the markets. And, if we talk about Turkey, it is also impossible to supply gas further to Europe, although the infrastructure on the Iranian side allows it - the Europeans are not ready to accept this gas in the conditions of anti-Iranian sanctions. And Turkey does not have the appropriate infrastructure for this.

According to Alexey Belogoryev, in terms of harsh sanctions, Iran is sorely lacking investments and technologies for gas production and liquefaction, which is why, with huge resources (17-18% of the world's gas resources), production in the country is growing relatively slowly, and the export potential (one of the highest in the world) is practically not realized. In this regard, Iran would be interested in Gazprom joining its gas production projects or helping with the construction of an LNG plant.

At the same time, the investment climate in Iran itself, according to the expert, is difficult to call particularly attractive, and not only because of sanctions, high inflation and the unstable exchange rate of the rial. The problem is also that Iran offers foreign companies only service contracts with a relatively low profit margin and the risk of subsequent renegotiation of contract terms.

"Finally, Gazprom now does not have extra investment resources to spray them on Iran," Belogoryev recalls. "Therefore, the investment aspect of cooperation also looks weak so far and is designed, rather, for the long term."

 

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