European Union Energy Commissioner Maros Sefcovic says Europe could import natural gas from Turkmenistan via Iran as the EU tries to break its dependence on Russian-sourced energy.
Speaking late April 30 after meeting with Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov in Ashgabat, Sefcovic said the two discussed the possibility of building a pipeline through the Caspian Sea as well as one that would transit Iran.
He said recent "positive" diplomatic progress with Iran had made that option feasible.
Officials in Iran have repeatedly said a Trans-Caspian pipeline would be uneconomic and that building a land-based pipeline over Iran would be a better route.
A Trans-Caspian pipeline would likely face opposition from Russia, which supplied around one-third of the EU's gas needs in 2014.
Turkmenistan has the fourth-largest reserves of natural gas in the world but suffers from a lack of pipeline infrastructure.
Based on reporting by AFP