Azerbaijan, Iran sign contract on gas supplies (UPDATE 2) (PHOTO)

Azerbaijan, Iran sign contract on gas supplies (UPDATE 2) (PHOTO)

Photos added  (the first version was posted at 16:59)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan.12 / Trend, S.Aliyev /

The State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) and National Iranian Gas Export Company (NIGEC) signed an agreement on a long term supplies of Azerbaijani gas to Iran in Baku. Under the contract, which is concluded for 5 years, Azerbaijan will supply 1 billion cubic meters of gas to Iran in 2011 and the volume will increase in the coming years.

The contract was signed by SOCAR President Rovnag Abdullayev and NIGEC General Director Javad Oji.

Abdullayev said Azerbaijan today has sufficient gas reserves. "It is transported to Russia, Georgia and Turkey. Gas supplies to Iran will start from February," Abdullayev said.

SOCAR conducts operations to expand capacity of the gas compressor station in Astara to increase gas supplies to Iran. Also reconstruction is envisaged on the pipeline from Azerbaijan to Iran. After completing these works it is envisaged to conclude a contract on a long term gas supplies and increase amounts to 3-3.5 million cubic meters of gas per day from the current 1.2 million cubic meters.

Azerbaijan and Iran are connected with the 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.

Earlier, Iran and Azerbaijan signed two memorandums on expanding cooperation in the sphere of supply of gas and electricity. The memorandums were signed during the President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's official visit to Baku.

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