Iraq to become Iran’s main gas buyer
Tehran, Iran, May 21
By Milad Fashtami - Trend:
Iran has agreed to export 40 million cubic meters of gas to Iraq.
Once the deal becomes operational, Baghdad will become Tehran's main gas buyer, overtaking Ankara's place, Iran's IRNA News Agency reported on May 21.
Iran's deputy oil minister, Ali Majedi, said that the signed contract was valid for 4 years, but based on the agreement reached between the two countries' ministers the contract have been extended to ten years.
"Iran has completed 80 percent of the pipeline on its soil," he explained.
Majedi said on May 19 that Iran will start exporting gas to Iraq once the two sides complete their share of the gas pipeline.
"The two sides are working hard to construct the pipeline as soon as possible," Iran's deputy oil minister explained.
"Based on the signed contract, Iran and Iraq can postpone the starting day of gas exports to next year," Majedi said.
It is while, Iranian Deputy Oil Minister Hamidreza Araqi said on Mar. 4 that based on Agreement with Iraq, Tehran will start exporting gas to Baghdad in Summer. Previously it was announced that Iran will start exporting gas to Iraq in spring.
"Iran will start exporting gas to Iraq limitedly with 3 or 4 million cubic meters per day," Araqi said.
He went on to note that Iran will implement the deal in 3 phases.
"Transition to the second phase will take some time because some 300 kilometers of pipeline should be laid, "he explained.
Iranian Fars News Agency reported in February that once the pipeline is ready, Tehran will start exporting 7 million cubic meters of gas per day to Baghdad.
The figure will reach 40 million cubic meters in the first phase. It is while Iran was supposed to export only 25 million cubic meters of gas per day to its southwestern neighbor in the first phase.
Iranian gas is expected to account for 30-35 percent and 65-70 percent of Iraqi households and power plants' gas consumption, respectively.
The managing director of National Iranian Gas Exports Company Alireza Kameli said on Dec. 7 that Iraq has requested to increase its gas imports from Iran up to 90 million cubic meters per day.
"The two sides have agreed to increase the volume of Iran's gas exports to Baghdad to 40 million cubic meters from the current 25 million," he explained.
Kameli went on to note that Iran will start with exporting 25 million cubic meters of gas in 2014 and will increase the figure to 40 million cubic meters in 2015.
"The two sides have also agreed to extend the deal for 10 years," he said.
The deal was previously valid for 4 years.
Iran will also export 50 million cubic meters of gas to Iraqi city of Basra. The Islamic republic also plans to construct two pipelines to export gas to Iraqi cities of Baghdad and Basra.
Iran's sixth cross-country gas pipeline will feed the two pipelines.