Baku, Azerbaijan, July 27
By Fatih Karimov - Trend: Iran has prepared special plans to boost natural gas exports, with the priority placed on Iraq, Oman, and Afghanistan, Alireza Kameli, the managing director of National Iranian Gas Exports Company, said.
Referring to the most important destinations of Iranian natural gas after lifting of sanctions against the country, Kameli said Iraq and Oman would be certainly the main target markets, Iran 's Mehr news agency reported July 27.
"Building a pipeline to transfer Iranian gas to Baghdad has been completed by 99 percent, and we are waiting to see if security comes back to Iraq," he added.
"Meanwhile,another contract for exporting gas to Basra has been prepared. Once the contract is signed, the construction of a related pipeline will be finished within a year."
Iran plans to use the vacant capacity of Oman's refineries to produce and export of LNG, he said, adding that Iran and Oman have reached agreement on some contractual points.
He added that a contract would be signed soon for conducting surveys and basic engineering studies to export gas to Oman. A tender will be held also after signing the contract to identify an eligible contractor, he noted.
Kameli said June 19 that Tehran held talks with 170 countries on gas export in the previous Iranian fiscal year (which ended March 20).
Regional countries are of higher priority for gas export, he said, adding that Iran is conducting business with Turkmenistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Turkey, and that Iraq will be added to the group of countries importing gas from Iran soon.
Talks have also been held with the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Oman while the ground is being prepared to export gas to these countries, he said.
Commenting on the prospects of gas export to Europe, he said, doing so would need four thousand kilometers of pipe, requiring more time and money than needed for exporting gas to regional countries.
"However, it does not mean that we do not have an eye on the European market. We rather have a long-term perspective on that market and we are hoping to reach European markets with LNG," the official noted.
Kameli said Iran intends to take its gas output to one billion cubic meters per day by 2019.
Edited by CN