Azerbaijan, Baku, Dec. 12 / corr Trend E.Ismayilov /
The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) and the Iranian National Gas Company are expected to sign a contract on Azerbaijani gas deliveries during Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov's visit to Iran next week, SOCAR President Rovnag Abdullayev said today.
"A contract on and short-term and long-term gas supply to Iran can be signed during Azerbaijani foreign minister's visit to Iran," Abdullayev said.
From the beginning of next year Azerbaijani gas will be delivered to Iran on definite volumes, which existing infrastructure of the two countries allow.
Currently, the infrastructure allows delivering about 500 million cubic meters of gas per year. In the future, the parties intend to expand capacity by increasing the capacity of gas compressor stations. The gas price has not been specified.
The contract on purchase-sale of gas is expected to be signed by late 2009
Iran intends to purchase about 5 billion cubic meters of gas from Azerbaijan, Iranian Ambassador to Azerbaijan Mohammad Bagir Behrami said earlier.
Azerbaijan has four directions of gas export, including Turkey, Georgia, Russia and Iran. At present, gas is exported to Turkey and Georgia. Azerbaijani gas will be exported to Russia from early 2010. At present, Azerbaijan exports gas upon swap conditions with further transfer of Iranian gas to provide the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic.
Azerbaijan and Iran are connected with the Kazi-Magomed-Astara pipeline gas pipeline. Its length is 1474.5 kilometers, including the territory of Azerbaijan - 296.5 kilometers. Its capacity is 10 billion cubic meters per year.
This route is a branch of the pipeline Gazakh-Astara-Iran, put into operation in 1971. Three compressor stations in Kazi-Magomed, Agdash and Gazakh have been built. The gas transportation system is 55 atmospheres. Pipe diameter is 1,200 mm.
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