Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept.16. / Trend E.Ismayilov /
SOCAR (State Oil Company of Azerbaijan) does not plan to supply 5 billion cubic meters of gas to Iran, a senior official of SOCAR said on Sept.16.
"SOCAR agreed with Iran to begin shipping in smaller volumes. The growth of supply will depend on the pipeline, leading in this direction," the same source said.
According to the source, it is necessary to carry out repairs on the pipeline, particularly to update compressor stations, to increase gas supplies to Iran.
Currently, SOCAR supplies about 1.2 million cubic meters of gas per day to Iran under the "swap" operations, afterwards this gas is transmitted to the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic (NAR).
"At this stage the infrastructure allows to transport 2.5 million cubic meters of gas per day to Iran. But the two compressor stations located in this direction should work for this. However, according to the Azerbaijani regulations, one compressor station must operate and the second should be a reserve," the same source added.
In 2008, Azerbaijan delivered 30 million cubic meters of gas to Iran on a commercial basis. Today Azerbaijan's gas supplies to Iran in exchange for gas supplies from Iran to the NAR.
The Gazi-Mahammad-Astara-Bin-Biand pipeline (1474.5km) connects Azerbaijan and Iran. Pipeline's carrying capacity is 10bln cu m per year. This route is a branch of the Kazakh-Astara-Iran pipeline, which was put into operation in 1971. Three compressor stations in Gazi-Mahammad, Agdash and Kazakh, were constructed in this line. Gas transport system covers pressure of 55 atmospheres and diameter of the pipeline makes up 1,200mm.
The Shah Deniz participating interests are: ВР (operator - 25.5 percent), StatoilHydro (25.5 percent), SOCAR (10 percent), LukAgip (10 percent), NICO (10 percent), Total (10 percent), and TPAO (9 percent). The gas mining on the field was launched in 2006. It is planned to produce more than 9 billion cubic meters of gas from the field as part of the first stage.
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