Putin Gains Control Of Iranian Gas Field In ‘Final Act To Secure Europe’
Vladimir Putin has struck a deal with the Iranian regime to tap into a recently-discovered gas field in the Caspian Sea, sparking fears Moscow will soon have complete control over Europe’s energy market.
According to the terms of the deal, the multi-trillion-dollar Chalous gas field will be carved up between Russian, Chinese and Iranian companies.
Earlier this year, Iran’s Khazar Exploration and Production Company (KEPCO) said the field could hold about 3.5 trillion cubic meters of gas or a quarter of the 14.2 trillion cubic meters of gas found in the South Pars field in the Persian Gulf.
However, financial institutions in Germany, Austria, and Italy are reportedly eyeing up potential investment in the project, which may indicate the field’s reserves are bigger than initially thought.
Russia’s negotiators have managed to secure a majority share in the gas field, despite it sitting within a section of the Caspian Sea controlled by Iran.
The landlocked body of water is estimated to sit on top of some 292 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
A “senior Russian official” who was reportedly involved in negotiating the deal, told OilPrice.com: “This is the final act of securing control over the European energy market.”
Europe relies heavily on third-country imports for energy, with Russia being the biggest supplier of crude oil, gas, and fossil fuels.
According to 2019 data published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union (EU), gas accounted for about 27 percent of all energy imports.
And about 41 percent of that gas came from Russia, followed by Norway (16 percent), Algeria (eight percent), and Qatar (five percent).
Eurostat warned: “The stability of the EU’s energy supply may be threatened if a high proportion of imports are concentrated among relatively few external partners.”
This threat was highlighted in recent months after the global energy crunch caused gas prices across Europe to hit record highs, prompting fears of a full-blown energy crisis this winter.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has been accused of exacerbating the issue to gain political leverage over the economic bloc.
In particular, Moscow was said to “weaponize” gas supplies to push through the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which runs directly to Germany and bypasses Poland and Ukraine.
President Putin has said earlier this year that approving the pipeline would be an “obvious” way of stabilizing the market.
He said: “Of course, if we could expand supplies along this route, then, 100 percent, I can say with absolute certainty, the tension on the European energy market would significantly decline, and that would influence prices, of course.”
Read rest at Daily Express
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