BRUSSELS—Iran could become a major supplier of natural gas to the European Union by the end of the next decade, according to new estimates from the bloc’s executive following the nuclear deal reached with Tehran this summer.
The European Commission now believes that the bloc could import between 25 billion and 35 billion cubic meters of gas a year from Iran by 2030, according to a European official and a representative of a European energy company. That would put future gas supplies from Iran on a similar level to current imports from North Africa and help reduce the bloc’s dependence on shipments from Russia. Russia currently ships around 130 BCM a year to the EU.
Western governments and energy companies have been positioning themselves to once again tap Iran’s rich oil and gas reserves since the prospects of a nuclear deal—and a resulting easing of sanctions on Tehran—improved earlier this year.
Earlier this month, the EU’s energy and climate commissioner, Miguel Arias Cañete, held a lunch meeting with delegates from European energy companies, including RWE AG, E.On AG, BP PLC, Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Repsol SA, Total SA, Engie SA and Statoil ASA—to discuss possibilities in Iran.