Iran has said it is opposed to the construction of the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline due to ecology concerns, Ria Novosti reported from the Caspian Economic Forum in the Turkmen resort of Avaza on August 12.
An official from National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) said the plan to connect Turkmenistan’s gas fields with Azerbaijan with a subsea pipeline would cause serious ecological damage in the Caspian Sea.
Proposed routes for the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline.
"The construction of a gas pipeline from the east to the west of the Caspian Sea could cause severe damage to the region’s ecology... Iran is opposed to its construction," said Behrouz Namdari, speaking at the Caspian Economic Forum.
He added that Iran was offering its neighbours opportunities to use its infrastructure, including gas pipelines and terminals, to supply gas to world markets.
The Turkmen would like to see their gas transited through the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline flow on to European markets via Azerbaijan. Iran has an eye on tying neighbouring Turkmenistan into Iran’s gas network, a move that would allow Tehran to accrue transit income from gas sent further afield to export markets.
If via Azerbaijani and Georgian links Turkmenistan was connected to the Trans Anatolian Gas Pipeline (TANAP) that reaches the Greek border through Turkey, the Turkmen would open up a route to exporting gas to European markets. TANAP connects to the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) that is to make landfall in southern Italy via Albania and a subsea route under the Adriatic Sea.
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