The Islamic Republic of Iran revealed a vast gas deposit located in the Iranian sector of the Caspian Sea last week. The technical and financial assistance for exploiting these resources will surely come from Russia and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which will undoubtedly generate strong movements in the world geopolitical map.
According to reports by the specialized energy magazine Oil Price, on Aug. 19, the enormous reserve recently found could supply at least 20% of the gas needs of all of Europe.
The current political map shows that Russia will be the one to manage the price and destination of this gas, which would considerably increase Europe’s energy dependence on Moscow. Moreover, the arrangement is already a key issue of disputes between the European Union and its partner the United States, which sees danger in the situation.
The main developer of the exploitation project will be an Iranian company known as Khazar Exploration and Production Company of Iran (KEPCO), which will rely on funding and technical direction from Russia and China.
As reported by Ali Osouli, the CEO of KEPCO, the Chalous structure, as the new gas reserve is known, contains about a quarter of the total contained in the giant South Pars, the world’s largest gas reserve currently being exploited in parallel by Iran and Qatar.
South Pars has an estimated 14.2 trillion cubic meters (Tcm) of gas reserves which equates to more than 18 billion barrels of gas condensate, and would now be joined by this recently confirmed huge haul in the Caspian Sea.
Due to its abundant oil and gas resources, the Caspian Sea has been a source of disputes between the five countries that currently share borders with it. They are Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan.
However, at present there seems to be a balance of interests that has led to a certain stability in the region. For example, Iran has a signed agreement with Russia that grants it its share of the historically claimed Sea and resources, in exchange for Moscow’s control over where and at what price the vast majority of Iran’s gas is sold.
Russia already owns 17 percent of the world’s gas production, to which is added the management of Iran’s production, which has just found another immense source of resources. This situation generates discomfort in the international community, which sees its energy sovereignty being handed over to the Russians.
In some countries, Russia is the almost monopolistic supplier of gas, which entails the threat of being interrupted if Russia so desires or suffers a setback that forces it to suspend the service.
Russia’s power, mainly over Europe, is being consolidated with the completion of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, a natural gas pipeline being built offshore from Vyborg in Russia to Greifswald in Germany.
This work, promoted mainly by Russia and Germany, is the subject of political and security controversy in several countries such as the United States, which prefer other possible alternatives.
However, the new U.S. administration under Joe Biden has so far failed to dramatically increase pressure on Germany to stop the initiative or develop alternatives.