SOCAR focuses on providing gas to Nakhichivan
Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept.1 / Trend, E. Ismailov /
The State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) is implementing an investment program to expand the capacity of a gas compressor station in Astara. The program aims to fully meet the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic's (NAR) gas needs, SOCAR President Rovnag Abdullayev told Trend on Sept. 1.
Azerbaijan currently supplies gas through Iran to the NAR. Expanding the station in Astara will allow Azerbaijan to fully cover the NAR's gas needs without sending any additional gas supplies through Iran. However, surplus gas from Astara may also be sold to Iran, Abdullayev said.
Azerbaijan and Iran are connected via the Kazi-Magomed-Astara pipeline gas pipeline. Its length is 1474.5 kilometers, with 296.5 kilometers running through Azerbaijan. Its capacity is 10 billion cubic meters per year. This route is a branch of the Gazakh-Astara-Iran pipeline, which was put into operation in 1971. Three compressor stations in Kazi-Magomed, Agdash and Gazakh have been built. Its diameter is 1,200 millimeters.
SOCAR and NIGEC signed a short-term contract on gas supplies to Iran in January. The signing of a long-term contract is expected in autumn 2010. Iran is interested in purchasing roughly 5 billion cubic meters of Azerbaijani gas per year.