Islamic pipeline contract signed (UPDATE)
Details added after the fifth paragraph (first version posted at 12:49)
Azerbaijan, Baku, July 25 /Trend D.Khatinoglu/
Iran, Iraq and Syria signed one of the biggest gas deals in the Middle East in the Pars Special Economic Energy Zone (PSEEZ), Mehr News Agency reported.
The first official agreement on gas export and transit between Iran, Iraq and Syria was signed by Iraqi oil minister Abdul Karim al-Luaibi and Syria's oil and mine minister Sofian Allaw and Iranian oil ministry caretaker Mohammad Aliabadi.
Iran, Syria and Iraq signed this agreement to export and transit gas from the South Pars through Iraq, Syria to Lebanon, Mediterranean Sea and European countries.
The so-called Islamic pipeline is considered to become a rival to Nabucco and South Stream pipeline's future rival.
It is expected that foreign companies and a consortium formed by Iran, Syria and Iraq will provide part of financial sources of the gas pipeline project and international consultant will realize the pipeline construction.
Deputy Oil Minister Javad Owji said Mehr News Agency that Iran's gas production capacity increased to 600 mcm per day and this figure would reach to 1.2 billion cubic meters after the implementation of new phases of South Pars oil and gas field by 2012.
"The construction of pipeline requires $10 billion investment including the expense of building gas coprocessors and other equipments and will be constructed within three years," he said.
Owji underlined that the five international investors have announced their readiness for participation in building the Islamic pipeline. "The model of projects financing would be BOO (build, own, operate) or BOT (Build, Own, Transfer)," he said.
The pipeline length is more than 1,500 kilometers from Assaloyeh to Damascus with transfer capacity of 110 million cubic meters of natural gas per day. At present, construction of 661 kilometers of the pipeline is completed but the trio considers constructing a 5,600 kilometer pipeline to transfer 110 mcm natural gas in the future.