Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan. 31 / Trend E. Ismayilov /
According to the plan, the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) will supply gas to Iran within the long-term contract signed with the National Iranian Gas Export Company (NIGEC) from Feb. 1, a source in SOCAR said.
"According to the original plan, gas supplies will be launched to Iran on Feb. 1," the source said.
He said that it is planned to supply 1 million (or slightly more) cubic meters within the contract at the initial stage, along with 1.2 million cubic meters supplied to Iran within the swap operations to meet the gas needs of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic.
It was possible to supply additional volumes to Iran because construction operations of an additional compressor station in Astara (the southern region of Azerbaijan) were completed. "The work within the construction of the station has been completed. The automation has been already established," the source said.
SOCAR completed the installation of 6 of 10 compressors planned within the construction of the station. The remaining four compressors will be installed at the facility during the year.
SOCAR and NIGEC signed an agreement on long-term supplies of Azerbaijani gas to Iran in Baku. Under the contract, which concludes after 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.
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 1,200 mm.