Iran intends to keep its gas in Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan. 16 / Trend T. Jafarov, E. Ismayilov /
Iran intends to use opportunities of Azerbaijan's underground gas-holders to keep own gas, the National Iranian Gas Export Company head Reza Kasaeizadeh told SOCAR head Rovnag Abdullayev within the meeting in Baku.
"We want to use potential of Azerbaijan's underground gas-holders. It depends on potential of pipelines and compressors in Azerbaijan. Mutual cooperation requires investments. We are ready to these investments," Kasaeizadeh said.
Abdullayev said about $150 million has been allocated from Azerbaijan's state budget to reconstruct the gas infrastructure, as well as to increase the active capacity of existing gas-holders. As a result, potential of Azerbaijani gas-holders will be increased up to five billion cubic meters compared to two billion at this stage. Pumping of Iranian gas in Azerbaijan's underground gas holders will be negotiated after these operations are completed.
"At present, about $150 million has been allocated from the budget in Azerbaijan for the reconstruction of infrastructure and increase the capacity of gas-holders. Today, there are two billion cubic meters of gas in gas-holders. We will bring this potential up to $5 billion cubic meters using these new investments. Afterwards, we will conduct discussions on keeping Iranian gas, " Abdullayev said.
At present, Azerbaijan has two underground gas-holders: Garadagh and Kalmaz. Now, SOCAR is actively working to expand Garadagh gas-holder. The company held three-dimensional geophysical studies on Kalmaz gas-holder.
SOCAR said about 1.95 billion cubic meters of gas was pumped in the underground gas-holders in 2009 compared to 1.4 billion in 2008.
According to the schedule of gas pumping, about 1.16 billion cubic meters of gas was pumped in Kalmaz gas-holder but more than 795.3 million cubic meters of gas (235.5 million cubic meters more than last year) in Garadagh one. At present, operations are being held there.
The increase in active capacity of gas-holders will increase the provision of Azerbaijan's domestic market with gas and significantly expand export opportunities of the country.