Turkey stays on sidelines of Iran's energy sector

Feb. 13, 2014 at 6:44 AM
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ANKARA, Turkey, Feb. 13 (UPI) -- Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said he's ready to listen if Iran comes forward with new energy investment proposals, but nothing is in the works.

Turkey and Iran signed preliminary arrangements in 2007 and 2008 for development of Iran's giant offshore South Pars natural gas field. Yildiz said Wednesday state-owned Turkey Petroleum Corp., known by its Turkish initials TPAO, was staying on the sidelines for now.

"If Iran wants to make a new proposal with new conditions we will look at it," he was quoted by the Platts energy news website as saying. "But as it stands at the moment there has been no decision for TPAO to invest in Iran."

Both sides in the past had considered building a 1,100-mile pipeline that would carry South Pars natural gas through Turkey to European consumers, a long-time ambition for Iran.

Yildiz was quoted by Iran's state-funded broadcaster Press TV as saying Tuesday both sides were reviewing ways to send more Iranian natural gas through Turkey.

Iranian officials have said sanctions relief from an interim nuclear deal reached in November with Western powers could draw more interest to Iran's energy sector. Platts reported Yildiz made no mention of sanctions during his Wednesday briefing.

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