Iran says it will start a much-awaited project to pipe natural gas to Iraq from next month.
Hamid-Reza Araqi, the managing director of the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC), was quoted by the media as saying that shipments will start at 7 million cubic meters a day to supply a power plant in Baghdad.
A second route to Basra will be opened in 2017, with shipments eventually reaching 70 million cubic meters a day, Bloomberg reported.
Azizollah Ramezani, the international affairs director of the NIGC, told reporters in late July that the final preparations are being made to start gas exports to Iraq.
He also emphasized that Iran is currently training the staff of Iraq’s Ministry of Electricity over the financial as well as technical issues relating to the imports of natural gas from Iran.
Iran’s gas exports to Iraq have been delayed time and again due to unsafe conditions in the war-wracked country.
The two countries signed a basic agreement for the export of natural gas from Iran's South Pars gas field to Iraq back in 2013.
Based on the agreement, Iran would start exporting 25 million cubic meters (mcm) a day of gas to Sadr, Baghdad and al-Mansuriya power plants through the 270-kilometer pipeline. The amount will increase to as high as 35 mcm/d during hot seasons.
Iran is already exporting gas to Turkey and plans to broaden its gas exports to regional countries as well as Europe.
It is also in an advanced stage of technical talks with Oman to pipe natural gas to the sultanate through the Persian Gulf.
An ambitious plan to export gas to India also appears to have returned to the agenda of Iran’s Ministry of Petroleum after indications appeared earlier that New Delhi wants a pipeline – that had been originally destined to go through Pakistan in a failed Iran-India-Pakistan scheme – to be taken to the subcontinent through sea.
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