NIGEC, SOCAR to boost cooperation

Officials from National Iranian Gas Export Company (NIGEC) and State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) will meet in Tehran after the holy month of Ramadan (ends September 20, 2009), the marketing manager of NIGEC said here on Wednesday.

SHANA quoted Alireza Qasemi Javid as saying that, "the two sides will introduce their potentials in the meeting and will seek ways to boost cooperation."

Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov is also expected to visit Iran after the holy month of Ramadan to discuss the two countries' cooperation in the fields of energy and politics.

Iran and Azerbaijan have reportedly agreed on a deal that allows Tehran to import 5 billion cubic meters of Azeri gas per year, Press TV reported.

He said Iran''s Oil Minister Masoud Mirkazemi would also pay a visit to Baku in this regard, Today.az reported.

Azerbaijan is developing its giant Shah Deniz field, with gas reserves of 1.2 trillion cubic meters, in cooperation with seven companies including British Petroleum, Norway's Statoil, France's Total and the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan.

Azeri Energy Minister Natik Aliyev has said Iran is seeking to buy Azerbaijani natural gas that is being produced in its Shah Deniz deposit at the Caspian Sea.

"There are other proposals on the table for the purchase of gas from the Shah Deniz deposit. For instance, Iran has also proposed purchasing the entire gas output from this deposit," Aliyev told an international conference on Caspian oil and gas in June.

Iranian ambassador to Azerbaijan Mohammad Baqer Bahrami said the agreement would be reviewed during an upcoming visit by Azeri Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov to Iran.

Azerbaijan-Iran trade turnover is predicted to reach $700 million in 2009, slightly up from $670 million in 2008.

SOCAR does not confirm agreement on supplies of 5b cubic meters of Azeri gas to Iran

State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) does not confirm an arrangement with Iran about supplies of 5 billion cubic meters of gas a year since 2010, Azerbaijan Business Center website reported on Wednesday.

"We did not agree on 5b cubic meters, but relevant talks are underway," SOCAR Vice President Elshad Nasirov said.

"These are not negotiations but a conversation," Nasirov specified.

"Iran supplies gas to Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic of Azerbaijan and we return to Iran gas in the volume exceeding supplies to Nakhchivan by 15%. This is payment for transit but nevertheless it means that we export gas to Iran," Nasirov said.

  Azerbaijan ready to supply up to 1 million cubic meters of gas a day to Iran

A SOCAR spokesman says that they reached an arrangement with the Iranian party to begin with small volume supplies and then consider a possibility of their expansion.

"All depends on condition of the pipeline. The current infrastructure allows delivery of approximately 2.5 million cubic meters per day to Iran. We've already supplying 1.2 million cubic meters to the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic of Azerbaijan.

It means that there is limit of export at the level of about 1 million cubic meters a day on the condition of operation of two compressor stations (the main and reserve ones). Last year Iran was delivered 30 million cubic meters in winter period," the SOCAR spokesman said.

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