Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan. 10 / Trend E.Ismayilov /
The Astara gas compressor station, which is part of the transportation infrastructure that connects the gas system of Azerbaijan and Iran, will receive official approval of the State Reception Commission of the Azerbaijani Emergency Situation Ministry, a source in the oil and gas market said on Monday.
The gas object has already passed technical commissions and now all the documentation was submitted to the State Reception Commission, which in a few weeks will make a decision on the matter.
Dates of commissioning the new facility will depend on a long-term agreement to be achieved between Azerbaijan and Iran on deliveries of Azerbaijani gas, and decision of the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR), the source said.
According to him, SOCAR completed the installation of six of the ten compressors scheduled to be installed as part of the project. The remaining four compressors will be installed at the facility during the year.
"Installation of the remaining compressors may be made by late 2011, but certainly not before the summer," the source said.
SOCAR head Rovnag Abdullayev said earlier that the company 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. Expanding the station in Astara will allow Azerbaijan to fully cover the NAR's gas needs without delivering any additional gas supplies through Iran.
Iran is interested in purchasing roughly 5 billion cubic meters of Azerbaijani gas per year.
Azerbaijan and Iran are connected by the Gazi-Magomed-Astara-Bind-Biand gas pipeline, 1,474.5-kilometers long. Its capacity was 10 billion cubic meters a year, but has now gone lower. This route is a branch of the Gazakh-Astara-Iran pipeline commissioned in 1971 as a result of which, three compressor stations, namely Gazi-Magomed, Aghdash and Gazakh, were built, with a Pipeline diameter of 1,200 mm.