Azerbaijan modernizes infrastructure to increase gas supplies to Iran: SOCAR head
Azerbaijan, Baku, January 13 / Trend , E.Ismaylov /
In summer this year, SOCAR (State Oil Company of Azerbaijan) and National Iranian Gas Export Company (NIGEC) will sign a long-term contract for the supply of Azerbaijani gas to Iran, SOCAR President Rovnag Abdullayev said on Jan. 13.
Currently, work is underway on preparation of the contract. Prior to its signing, Azerbaijan will complete the reconstruction of infrastructure, expansion of a gas compressor station in Astara and repair work on the Hajigabul-Astara pipeline. These works will be carried out within the investment program worth more than 100 million manat.
Abdullayev said that this will enable to export Iran three to five million cubic meters of gas per day. Currently, the infrastructure enables to transport Iran 2.2-2.3 million cubic meters of gas per day. Today, of this volume, 1 million cubic meters per day is delivered to Iran under swap operations in order to supply gas to Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, which has no common border with Azerbaijan.
According to him, the work on the modernization and reconstruction of gas infrastructure in Azerbaijan will be completed by autumn of this year, after which it will be possible to increase gas exports to Iran.
The head of SOCAR said that signing a long-term contract is expected in summer in order to increase gas supplies to Iran in autumn. Upon the long-term contract, the annual supply of Azerbaijani gas to Iran could reach 1.5 billion cubic meters and more.
Azerbaijan and Iran are connected with the Gazi-Magomed-Astara-Bind-Biand gas pipeline length 1,474.5 kilometers, including 296.5 kilometers in the territory of Azerbaijan. Its design capacity was 10 billion cubic meters a year, now it is lower. This route is a branch of the Gazakh-Astara-Iran pipeline commissioned in 1971. Three compressor stations, including in Gazi-Magomed, Aghdash and Gazakh, were built on its route. The transmission system is designed to pressure 55 atmospheres. The pipe's diameter is 1200 mm.