Tehran and Islamabad have started a new round of negotiations on the export of Iran's natural gas to Pakistan, with the aim of increasing the volume of exports, Press TV quoted Iranian Deputy Oil Minister
Javad Oji as saying on Wednesday.
Oji noted that the talks have been held in Iran's capital city, Tehran, following a request by Pakistani government earlier in September for raising the level of exports from the previously agreed level of 21.5 million cubic meters per day to 30 million cubic meters.
In June 2009, Tehran and Islamabad signed a 25-year agreement, commencing from February 2014, based on which Iran agreed to export 7.8 billion cubic meters of its natural gas to Pakistan per annum through a multi-billion-dollar pipeline.
Iran has no restrictions to raise the volume of its natural gas exports to Pakistan, Oji told Mehr news agency.
Hossein Bidarmaghz, managing director of the National Iranian Gas Export Company (NIGEC) has announced Iran's readiness to start the gas exports even prior to the agreed timeline.
According to the NIGEC chief, Iran has completed 800 km of the 960-km Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, and the remaining 160 km can be laid by the next year; therefore, the country can even start sending natural gas to Pakistan in 2012.
Iran ranks second in the world in natural gas resources after Russia with available gas reserves estimated at over 33 trillion cubic meters.
In addition to exporting gas to Turkey, Armenia, and Pakistan, the country is currently negotiating gas exports to Iraq.