Azerbaijan, Iran discuss increasing Azerbaijani gas export
Azerbaijan, Baku, August 30 /Trend, T.Jafarov/
In mid September, Baku will host a joint meeting of representatives of energy agencies of Iran and Azerbaijan, the official news website of the Oil Ministry Iran ("SHANA") reported with reference to the Deputy Oil Minister of Iran Javad Ouji.
According Ouji, the joint meeting will focus on Iran's purchase of five billion cubic meters of Azerbaijani gas. "Currently the National Gas Export Company is negotiating with Azerbaijan. Upon the completion of the Ramadan month [10 September], Iranian delegation will pay an official visit to Baku, and if the Azerbaijani side would be interested in increasing the volume of supplied gas, Iran would welcomed the decision," said Ouji.
According to him, the company pursues a policy of buying and selling gas, and presently all its activities are related to this, and it carries the transit of Azerbaijani gas to Nakhchivan.
Currently, to increase gas supplies to Iran, SOCAR (State Oil Company of Azerbaijan) conducts work to expand capacity of gas compressor station in Astara. Also there are plans to reconstruct the pipeline from Azerbaijan to Iran. Upon the completion of the works scheduled for the autumn, it is expected to conclude a contract for long-term supplies and increase up to 3-3.5 million cubic meters per day from the current 1.2 million cubic meters. Now Azerbaijan is supplying natural gas to Iran on the basis of swaps to cover the needs of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, which is in blockade as a result of Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Azerbaijan and Iran are connected with the Gazi-Magomed-Astara-Bind-Biand gas pipeline, 1,474.5-kilometers long. Its capacity was 10 billion cubic meters a year, but now it is lower. This route is a branch of the Gazakh-Astara-Iran pipeline commissioned in 1971. Three compressor stations - Gazi-Magomed, Aghdash and Gazakh were built.