Following the lift of sanctions against Iran, the energy market is going through a crucial time. While Europe is attempting to free itself of a dependency on Russian supplies, the Middle East is in a fragile position, balancing production levels and market shares. The trade of Liquid Natural Gas fully reflects these dynamics.
The news came just weeks ago that Poland has started up its first and largest terminal for importing LNG from abroad to reduce its Russian supplies, with the first LNG shipload arriving from Qatar. Finland has recently opened the Pori LNG import terminal, the country’s first. It ran a cost surpassing 80 million euros, 23 million of which provided by the Finnish government. "The Pori terminal will enable the country to diversify" its energy supplies, explained Johanna Lamminen, CEO of Gasum, the company that built the site. The new Finnish hub will enable supporting supplies both to industry and to distributors.
Iran is among the main contenders aiming to become a supplier to the EU. According to the latest news reported by Iranian media, Tehran is considering paying to rent a number of gas pipelines in order to export its own natural gas to the EU, until some new ones can be built. There are currently no gas lines directly linking Iran with European pipelines. The head of the National Iranian Gas Company, Alireza Kameli confirmed this, remarking that Iran intends to start construction on gas liquefaction plants. According to the latest BP report, Iran has 34 trillion cubic meters in gas reserves, which would cover a market share of 17%.
Future routes to Europe could cross through Turkey. For now – according to experts – the Southern Gas Corridor represents the best option for moving Iranian gas to Europe, through the TANAP. The Southern Gas Corridor would enable carrying 10 billion cubic meters of gas from the Caspian region to EU countries, by way of Georgia and Turkey.
While many European countries are seeking a wider range of suppliers in order to free themselves of dependency on Russian energy, Moscow is making new agreements in the Middle East. At the most recent meeting of Russian president Vladimir Putin and King of Bahrain Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa, an energy cooperation deal was signed to strengthen the two countries’ oil & gas partnerships. The agreement was signed by Gazprom and Bahrain’s National Oil and Gas Authority (Noga holding).