The Myth of the Iran-Iraq-Syria Pipeline

Many times in the past I have referred to the Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline, as a competing pipeline to the Qatar-Turkey one. That pipeline does not exist. This is a shia pipeline which would have to traverse the Sunni parts of Iraq and Syria before reaching the Alawite part of Syria, and it would be at the mercy of the Sunnis.

Map 1

Χάρτης Σουνιτικοί Σιιτικοί Αγωγοί.JPG

Moreover the natural gas would have to be liquefied in Syria, and then go through the process of regasification to bring the natural gas back to its original form in very expensive facilities of the importing country. This is a very expensive process. Moreover the natural gas would have to be carried by very expensive LNG carriers which are a lot more expensive than the traditional oil tankers.

That means the natural gas of a potential Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline would be constantly under the threat of Sunni sabotage, and its gas would be so expensive that it could not compete with the Russian and Algerian natural gas that reaches Europe through pipeline networks. The Iran-Iraq-Syria was simply an excuse for Assad to refuse the Qatar-Turkey.

The competing pipelines, the ones which could compete with the Russian and Algerian natural gas in Europe, are the Qatar-Turkey-Europe pipeline, which is a Sunni pipeline that would be built in the Sunni Middle East, the Iran-Turkey-Europe pipeline, and the Turkmenistan-Turkey-Europe pipeline.

Map 2

Map of Oil and Gas.jpg

If in your analysis you take into account the Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline you will be misled to the wrong conclusions. You must take into account the Qatar-Turkey, the Iran-Turkey, the Iraq-Turkey and the Turkmenistan-Azerbaijan-Turkey pipelines. And to a lesser extent the Egypt-Israel-Turkey pipeline.

Natural Gas Pipelines Map.JPG

Orange-Russia, Purple-Turkmenistan, Green-Iran, Red-Qatar

Natural Gas Pipelines Middle East.JPG


3 thoughts on “The Myth of the Iran-Iraq-Syria Pipeline”

  1. Hi,
    I read your article with great interest.
    You don’t mention the East Med pipeline. The Europeans seem to be going ahead with plans to construct it.
    Do you have an opinion about this?
    Many thanks for your post.


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