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The Reason Why Iran Won't Become an EnergySuperpower

为什么伊朗成不了能源超级大国



Tehran has a high domestic natural gasconsumption and needs more foreign technology and financial capital.

德黑兰国内天然气消费量很高,也需要更多的外国技术和金融资本。

by Omid Shokri Kalehsar

作者:奥米德·肖克里·卡莱赫萨尔

In recent years, the Turkmen government hasrefused to toe the line of the United States and Europe, continuing gas salesto Iran, despite misunderstandings over costs affecting the economic relationsof both countries. These issues must be ironed out once and for all if anyincrease in ties is to be realized at a time when Iran desperately needs alliesin the region.

近年来,尽管对影响土伊两国经济关系的成本存在误解,土库曼斯坦政府拒绝遵守美国和欧洲给出的路线,而是继续向伊朗出售天然气。如果要在伊朗迫切需要该地区盟友的时候实现关系的任何提升,这些问题必须一劳永逸地解决。

According to 2017 figures, the volume oftrade between Iran and Turkmenistan has already grown to a value of $1.7billion. Mahmoud Vazei, the Iranian president’s chief of staff, has set out thegoal of pushing this to an overall value of $60 billion. The roadmap to achievethis goal requires boosting ties across every industry, improving trade,transport and engineering service links. Oil products, petrochemicals,electricity, textile products and light industry are the most important exportitems Turkmenistan is equipped to provide to Iran. Thus, Turkmenistan is Iran’sstrongest partner in Central Asia and the Caucasus, despite a decline in tradeover recent years.

根据2017年的数字,伊朗和土库曼斯坦之间的贸易额已经增长到了17亿美元。伊朗总统办公厅主任马哈茂德·瓦泽伊,已经设定了将双方贸易总额提升至600亿美元这样的目标。实现这一目标的路线图,是要求加强双方各个行业之间的联系,改善贸易、运输和工程服务联系。石油产品、石化产品、电力、纺织品和轻工业是土库曼斯坦向伊朗提供的最重要的出口项目。因此,土库曼斯坦是伊朗在中亚和高加索地区最强的伙伴,尽管近年来双方贸易有所下降。

The cooperation between the two countriesinvolves gas swaps, the development of banking cooperation and technical andengineering services, with further progress expected on the Sarkhas Bridge,which will allow for road and rail links to become operational within a shorttime.

两国之间的合作涉及天然气贸易、发展银行合作以及技术和工程服务,预计萨卡大桥的建设将取得进一步进展,这将使双方的公路和铁路连接在短时间内投入运营。

Gas Dispute

天然气纠纷

According to an agreement signed in 1997,Turkmenistan exports gas to Iran, but almost every year during the wintermonths, short-term price hikes are experienced. In 2006, the country stoppedexporting gas to Iran and demanded an increase of nine times the price, whichIran accepted for a brief time. The same action was taken by Turkmenistan inthe winter of 2016, but this time Iran refused to comply.

根据1997年签署的一项协议,土库曼斯坦向伊朗出口天然气,但几乎每年冬季都会经历短期价格上涨。在2006年,土库曼斯坦停止向伊朗出口天然气,并要求将价格提高至原先价格的九倍,伊朗在短时间内就接受了这一要求。土库曼斯坦在2016年冬天也采取了同样的行动,但这次伊朗拒绝接受。

Referring to Iran's plan to sueTurkmenistan's Turkmen Gas company for the quality of the gas supplied, theIranian Minister of Oil stated, “We have another complaint the InternationalArbitration Court in order to reconsider the price of its export gas, becausewe believe the prices are too high and should be reduced.”

伊朗石油部长提到伊朗计划就所供应的天然气质量起诉土库曼斯坦的土库曼天然气公司,他说,“我们向国际仲裁法院提出另一项申诉,要求重新考虑其出口天然气的价格,因为我们认为价格太高,应该降低。”

The gas dispute between Iran andTurkmenistan, which has only been inflamed since the beginning of 2017 when thecountry once more cut off gas exports to Iran, has come to no compromise despiteperiodic negotiations. It is most likely that the dispute will be referred tothe International Arbitration Tribunal. The threat of cutting gas exports toIran is a tool that Turkmenistan has used many times over the past few years.Indeed, in recent years, given the need of the northern and northeasternregions of Iran to pump extra gas from Turkmenistan, Tehran often folded todemands. However, due to the increase in gas production in South Pars andentering of the eleventh stage of the gas transmission network, the latestthreats and ultimate cuts were far less effective. Therefore, after Turkmen gaswas cut off in January 2017, Iran announced that ultimately it would beTurkmenistan who missed out from the action.

土库曼斯坦和伊朗之间的天然气争端,自2017年初该国再次切断对伊朗的天然气出口以来就一直在激化,尽管双方定期举行谈判,但仍未达成妥协。争议很可能会提交国际仲裁法庭。威胁切断对伊朗的天然气出口,是土库曼斯坦在过去几年中多次使用的手段。事实上,近年来,考虑到伊朗北部和东北部地区需要从土库曼斯坦抽取额外的天然气,使得德黑兰常常不得不屈从于需求。然而,由于南帕斯天然气产量的增加,以及天然气输送管网第十一期工程的铺设,新近的威胁及最终的切断远没有那么有效。因此,在土库曼斯坦的天然气于2017年1月切断后,伊朗宣布最终将会是土库曼斯坦错失行动。

While Turkmenistan has demanded between$1.5 billion to $1.8 billion from Iran for gas exports in 2006–2007, Iran hasnot accepted the figure on principle, and calls for referral to internationalarbitration. In January of 2007, when the cold of the winter peaked and morethan twenty provinces of the country suffered freezing temperatures,Turkmenistan took advantage of the situation and announced that it would raiseits export gas prices to Iran by nine times the price. Forty dollars perthousand cubic meters was thus risen to 360 dollars, and the extent of thishike marks the crux of Iranian policymakers’ anger.

虽然土库曼斯坦要求伊朗对在2006 - 2007年间出口的天然气出口支付15亿至18亿美元,但伊朗原则上不接受这个数字,并呼吁提交国际仲裁。2007年1月,当冬天的寒冷达到顶峰,伊朗20多个省份遭遇严寒时,土库曼斯坦利用这一情况,并宣布将其向伊朗出口的天然气价格提高至原先的九倍。因此,由每千立方米40美元上涨到了360美元,这一上涨幅度也标志着伊朗决策者愤怒的关键所在。

Furthermore, with sanctions making itdifficult to carry out the banking transactions required to make payments, theability of Iran to make such payments has fallen into question, which may leadto the subject being shelved for the time being.

此外,由于制裁使得支付款项所需的银行交易难以进行,伊朗支付此类款项的能力也受到质疑,这有可能导致该问题暂时被搁置。

Gas Swap

天然气贸易

The gas transmission capacity of thispipeline is 14.5 billion cubic meters per year. Iran imported about ninebillion cubic meters of gas from Turkmenistan in 2015, but in the winter of2016, Turkmenistan cut gas exports to the Iran due to Iran’s $ 1.8 billiondebt. Thus, Iran only received around six billion cubic meters of gas.

这条管道的输气能力为每年145亿立方米。2015年,伊朗从土库曼斯坦进口了约90亿立方米的天然气,但2016年冬天,由于伊朗欠下土方18亿美元的债务未还,土库曼斯坦减少了对伊朗的天然气出口。因此,伊朗只收到大约60亿立方米的天然气。

Since the beginning of 2018, Turkmenistanhas continued to withhold gas exports to Iran due to what it calls the“nine-year delay in Tehran's $ 1.8 billion debt settlement.” Despite thisexport restriction, a gas swap has continued. Since October last year, Iran hasreceived Turkmen gas under the so-called Swap Agreement, delivering the sameamount of gas to the Republic of Azerbaijan.

自2018年初以来,土库曼斯坦一直拒绝向伊朗出口天然气,因为其声称“德黑兰18亿美元债务结算已经推迟了9年”。尽管有这种出口限制,天然气贸易仍在继续。自去年10月以来,伊朗根据所谓的交换协议接收了土库曼斯坦的天然气,向阿塞拜疆共和国输送了同样数量的天然气。

One month after the cutting of Turkmen gassupplies to Iran, officials of the Islamic Republic claimed Turkmen gas wasstill being swapped regardless. The Ministry of Oil has expressed toTurkmenistan its willingness to engage in a long-term cooperation in the energysector as well as joint exports to India, Pakistan and the Gulf states.

在土库曼斯坦切断对伊朗的天然气供应一个月后,伊朗伊斯兰共和国的官员声称土库曼斯坦的天然气仍然在交换。伊朗石油部已向土库曼斯坦表示愿意参与能源部门的长期合作,并向印度、巴基斯坦和海湾国家联合出口。

New talks regarding a potential gas swapbetween Turkmenistan and two Indian companies, Gil and Indian Ocean, werediscussed in Tehran. The talks resulted in a contract agreement to supply Indiawith gas through a maritime pipeline. Turkmenistan, on the other hand, wants toexport gas to India in a more affordable and secure manner, which can only beachieved through joint bilateral negotiations between Turkmenistan, Iran, andIndia. Turkmenistan has welcomed plans to launch the construction of a pipelineand called for its gas to once more funnel through Iranian pipes.

土库曼斯坦和两家印度公司吉尔公司和印度洋公司,在德黑兰讨论了相互之间可能的天然气交换。谈判达成了一项通过海底管道向印度供应天然气的合同协议。另一方面,土库曼斯坦希望以更加经济和安全的方式向印度出口天然气,这只能通过土库曼斯坦、伊朗和印度之间的联合双边谈判来实现。土库曼斯坦已启动管道建设的计划表示欢迎,并呼吁其天然气再次通过伊朗的管道输送到印度。

The increase of production in joint fieldsis a priority for Iran, which is missing out due to vastly better investmentsin fields along its borders with Iraq and Gulf states. Investments in fieldsshared with Turkmenistan have a strong chance of yielding fruitful results. Thepriority is to exploit common gas fields in the north and northeast part of thecountry where it can be immediately consumed at minimal transit costs.According to Bijan Zanganeh, “The joint fields of Iran and Turkmenistan areIran’s priority, this is now an Iranian exploration project, and Iran hopes thatthe results of these studies will be sent to the Central Oil Company.” Thepolicies of the Ministry of Oil include joint projects in the fields of oil,gas and petrochemicals with neighboring countries. Therefore, Iran is ready tocarry out design, construction of oil and gas transmission lines,pressure-boosting stations, refining and separating liquids from gas andconverting them to other petrochemical products, and to negotiate withTurkmenistan in the same way.

增加联合油田的产量是伊朗的一个优先事项,由于伊朗与伊拉克和海湾国家边界沿线油田的投资大大增加,伊朗已经错失了这一机会。对与土库曼斯坦共有油田的投资很有可能产生丰硕成果。当务之急是开发该国北部和东北部的普通气田,在那里可以以最低的成本运输,并立即使用这些气田。伊朗石油部长尚甘尼称,“伊朗和土库曼斯坦的联合油田是伊朗的优先项目,现在这是一个伊朗的勘探项目,而且伊朗希望这些研究的结果将被发送给中央石油公司。”石油部的政策包括与邻国在石油、天然气和石化领域的联合项目。因此,伊朗准备进行设计、建造石油和天然气输送管道、增压站,从气体中提炼和分离液体并将其转化为其他的石化产品,而且希望与土库曼斯坦进行谈判以同样的方式合作。

With new sanctions back in place, Iran nowhas no opportunity to increase its swap capacity with Turkmenistan.Additionally, it cannot expect to have great amounts of investmentopportunities to explore. India was interested in importing Turkmen gas viaIran’s infrastructure, but now it seems intent to wait until Iran’s problemswith the United States are resolved. Iran can, on the one hand, rely on itspolitical, cultural, and economic capacities to provide a stronger basis forits economic relations with its neighbors. But that means Iran has to know whento pay attention. Turkmenistan’s foreign-policy priority focuses on cooperationwith its neighbors, including Iran, which Turkmenistan’s president has signaledon various occasions. On the other hand, Iran must seek solutions for morereliable contracts than those based on oil or limited gas transfers toTurkmenistan. Long-term contracts with a clear and workable system of pricingwould go a good way towards achieving this.

随着新的制裁措施重新实施,伊朗现在没有机会增加其与土库曼斯坦的互换能力。此外,它不能指望有大量的投资机会去探索。印度对通过伊朗基础设施进口土库曼斯坦天然气挺感兴趣,但现在看来它打算等待,以期伊朗和美国之间的问题得到解决后再探讨。一方面,伊朗可以依靠其政治、文化和经济能力,为其与邻国的经济关系提供更坚实的基础。但是这意味着伊朗必须知道什么时候应该注意。土库曼斯坦外交政策的重点是与邻国合作,包括伊朗,土库曼斯坦总统已经在不同场合发出此信号。另一方面,伊朗必须寻求比基于向土库曼斯坦转移石油或有限天然气的合同更可靠的解决方案。签订明确可行的定价体系的长期合同将有助于实现这一目标。

Under normal circumstances, Iran’s energyinfrastructure could transfer oil and gas from the Caspian Sea to consumermarkets across the globe. As it is, the country is struggling under sanctions.It now relies on production from the South Pars and other gas fields which,despite being sufficient to fuel current domestic demands, may fall behind andonce again make imports from Turkmenistan necessary. Iran has a high domesticnatural gas consumption and needs more foreign technology and financialcapital. Easing tensions with the international community is the best—andperhaps the only—tool for Iran to achieve its own interests. In sum, despiteexisting cooperation, there are still many areas in the energy sector that canbe used to promote bilateral relations in the interests of both neighbors, butthe expansion of cooperation depends on solving the challenges and making themost of the opportunities that come.

在正常情况下,伊朗的能源基础设施可以将石油和天然气从里海转移到全球消费市场。事实上,该国正在制裁之下挣扎。它现在依赖于南帕斯和其他气田的生产,尽管这些气田足以满足当前国内需求,但生产量也有可能会落后于需求,并需要再次从土库曼斯坦进口。伊朗国内天然气消费量很高,需要更多的外国技术和金融资本。缓解与国际社会的紧张关系是伊朗实现自身利益的最好——或许也是唯一的——工具。总之,尽管土伊双方存在现有的合作,伊朗能源部门仍有许多领域可以用来促进双边关系,以利于这相邻的两国,但合作的扩大有赖于应对挑战并充分利用即将到来的机遇。

Omid Shokri Kalehsar is a Washington-basedsenior energy security analyst, and Ph.D. Candidate in International Relationsat Yalova University, Turkey.

奥米德·肖克里·卡莱赫萨尔是华盛顿的高级能源安全分析师,也是土耳其亚罗瓦大学国际关系博士候选人。



Image: Reuters

图片:路透社