Is it possible with the consent from Russia only?
Armenia and Iran discussed the possibility of supplying natural Iranian gas to Armenia. Many in Yerevan regard it as an attempt by the country to find alternative energy sources and free itself from being fully dependent on Russian gas.
New opportunities were discussed during the Armenian Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan’s recent visit to Iran.
“The Armenian Prime Minister said that Yerevan was interested in importing Iranian gas. The Iranian Minister of Oil, in turn, promised to discuss the issue with the Iranian National Gas Company,” the Iranian Asrenaft news agency cited Iran’s Minister of Oil, Bijan Zanganhe, as saying.
Armenia currently imports gas from two countries, Russia and Iran. Over 1.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas was imported in Armenia last year, of which only 200 million cubic meters was imported from Iran.
According to reports by the Iranian media, the sides also discussed the possibly of organizing supplies of Turkmen gas to Armenia. Iran expressed its readiness to facilitate this process.
Today, many in Armenia believe that diversification of energy sources is necessary to reduce Armenia’s dependence on Russia for energy.
However, according to Vahe Davtyan, that’s not exactly true. In his opinion, Iran may only increase gas supplies to Armenia with Russia’s consent.
“The Iranian-Armenian gas pipeline is owned by the Russian Gazprom Company. Even if Iran agrees to sell its gas at a lower price as a result of some negotiations, it will still be supplied to Armenia through those very pipelines that are owned by the Russian company. Also, this gas will be distributed by the Russian operator company, i.e. with the consent from Moscow,” said Davtyan.
In his opinion, Iran is unlikely to offer its gas to Armenia at a cheaper price than the Russian one.
“We buy Russian gas at the border for USD 150. It’s a preferential price that was specially set for Armenia. Meanwhile, the price of Iranian gas for Armenia is USD 170-10. Although Iranian gas is of better quality, it costs between USD 20-30 dollars more than the Russian one if calculated per 1,000 cubic meters,” said Vahe Davtyan.
There haven’t been any official reports so far on a possible increase in Iranian gas supplies to Armenia and the corresponding dates thereof.