Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 10
By Rahim Zamanov - Trend:
Tehran and Muscat have established a joint committee to monitor the progress of the Iran-Oman pipeline construction project, undersecretary of Oman's oil and gas ministry, Nasser bin Khamis Al Jashmi, said on Dec.9, the IRNA News Agency reported on Dec. 10.
"The panel has met several times, mainly to discuss the route of the pipeline," he said.
"The pipeline would have the capacity to transfer one or two billion cubic feet of gas. Now the panel is discussing the timeframe. However, it is still at an early stage," Al Jashmi explained.
Al Jashmi made the remarks at the Gas Arabia Summit in Muscat.
Iranian Ambassador to Muscat Ali Akbar Sibevieh said on Nov. 11 that the Iran-Oman gas pipeline will be completed in 18 months, the TASNIM News Agency reported.
"Once the construction operation of the pipeline is finished, Tehran will start exporting gas to Oman," he said.
"Muscat will export half of the received gas to Japan, South Korea, and India," Sibvieh said.
"The agreement on the gas pipeline dates back 10 years when negotiations over the pipeline started, but the two countries could not finalize it. The main reason was lack of agreement on the price of the gas that was supposed to be exported," Sibevieh said, the Times of Oman reported.
Reuters reported on Aug. 27 that Iran signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to export gas to Oman from 2015, in a 25-year deal valued at around $60 billion (38 billion pounds).
Energy-hungry Oman agreed to buy gas from Iran as far back as 2005 and a later draft deal in 2007 included plans for Oman to process Iranian gas for export as liquefied natural gas (LNG), the report said.
But the two sides have never finalized terms and Oman has been pressured by the United States to source fuel from alternative suppliers such as Qatar, according to U.S. embassy cables released by WikiLeaks.
Edited by C.N.