Iran’s Liquid Gas Politics

As an aside to Peter Kiernan’s WPR article on Iran looking towards the East for its gas pipeline projects, I just came across this brief ISNA wire report that Iran will begin exporting Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) to China and Europe in 2010. The disadvantages of LNG, from what I understand, are the processing and transportation costs. The advantage is that, once processed, it becomes a much simpler bilateral commodities transaction, as opposed to the longterm, multilateral agreements required by a pipeline. Asia’s demand for energy, as Kiernan points out, is already undermining American attempts to isolate Iran. That will only be exacerbated if Tehran can offer a viable LNG alternative to pipelines.