8/20/2008

Turkey plans to finalize the Iranian energy agreements in one month

Hurriyet English - Turkey hopes to finalize the planned energy deals with Iran within a month after the sides failed to agree on the deals during Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit last week. Turkey's Energy Minister Hilmi Guler emphasized that the technical works on the planned agreements are underway. "We will go to Iran in two weeks and would likely be accompanied by Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan. We will continue our efforts to finalize the works within a month," Guler told reporters at a press conference. Turkey and Iran failed to sign deals on a multi-billion dollar-investment in energy. Turkey and Iran agreed in May to build a new gas pipeline to ensure a reliable supply to Turkey, and the $3.5 billion agreement was expected to be finalized during Ahmadinejad's visit. Guler also said Turkey had concluded technical studies on natural gas production from Iran's huge South Pars gas field and sent them to Tehran, which would give its response on Aug. 21. Turkey and Iran signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) to produce 20 billion cubic meters of natural gas in three phases in Iran's South Pars gas field last year. The Turkish private sector will build three power stations, which will use natural gas to generate 6,000 megawatts of energy in Iran, according to the signed MoU. The preliminary understanding on the development of the South Pars gas field also includes the transit of Iranian natural gas to Europe via Turkey, as well as the transit of gas from Turkmenistan to Turkey via Iran.