Iran is planning to build a pipeline to carry natural gas to Iraq and Syria, Oil Ministry spokesman says. “Based on agreements already reached, a 56-inch pipeline is to be laid out from Assaluyeh [near South Pars Gas Field in southern Iran] to the Iran-Iraq border to feed three Iraqi power plants running on gas,” Alireza Nikzad Rahbar said on Wednesday.
“In the near future, a trilateral meeting will be held in Baghdad between Iran, Syria and Iraq to devise the necessary plans for extending the pipeline from Iraq to Syria,” he added.The official stated that Iraq has requested 30 million cubic meters per day (mcmpd) of natural gas from Iran in the first phase, which is scheduled to come on-stream by next summer. Nikzad Rahbar said Syria has requested 25-30 mcmpd of gas, but the route for the extension of the pipeline from Baghdad to the Syrian border and from there into the country has not been surveyed yet. He noted that the pipeline would be designed to deliver gas to Muslim countries like Jordan and Lebanon and that, if necessary, it could be extended to reach European countries Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi said in July that the Islamic Republic is expected to start exporting natural gas to Iraq by March 2013 upon the completion of the Iran-Iraq gas pipeline project. The South Pars Gas Field, which is shared with Qatar, holds about 14 trillion cubic meters of gas, or about eight percent of the total world reserves, and more than 18 billion barrels of liquefied natural gas resources. Iran, which sits on the world's second largest natural gas reserves after Russia, is making efforts to up its gas production by increasing foreign and domestic investments, especially in South Pars Gas Field. KA/HGH/SS