Azeri gas project ’unaffected by Iran sanctions’

Saturday, 30 October 2010 05:17 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Kiev-(Reuters)- Azerbaijan has so far seen no impact from European sanctions against Iran on its Shah Deniz gas project, in which Iranian state energy firm NIOC has a stake, a senior Azeri energy official said.

The EU sanctions over Iran's nuclear programme, launched in July, aim to block oil and gas investment in Iran and curtail Tehran's refining and natural gas capability.

"This question has not been raised so far," Natig Aliyev, Azerbaijan's minister of industry and energy, told Reuters. He was accompanying Azeri President Ilham Aliyev on a trip to Ukraine.

"The Iranian company that takes part in the Shah Deniz project has a status of a so-called 'sleeping partner'. It has a certain stake for which it pays according to an annual investment schedule," he said.

"This issue (of sanctions) has not been raised on any level yet to be reviewed, discussed or acted upon," he added.

A British government source said earlier this week that sanctions were unlikely to have any impact on the BP-led Shah Deniz project.

Azeri officials said this year that they had sharply raised the upper end of expectations for potential additional natural gas output from the Shah Deniz field's second phase of production.

 The second phase could boost output by 20 billion cubic meters from 2014, compared with a previous forecast of 16 bcm.