Armenian foreign minister comments on Iran-Armenia gas pipeline

Armenia Materials 19 December 2006 16:48 (UTC +04:00)

(ArmInfo) -. Armenian Foreign Minister Vardan Oskanyan does not rule out that the right to the exploitation of the 40km section of Iran- Armenia gas pipeline (Meghri-Kajaran) will be given to the Armenian Russian CJSC ArmRosgazprom. The minister made this statement at the Discussion Club "Urbat," Tuesday.

"As I know no decision of giving ArmRosgazprom the right to exploit the pipeline has been made so far. The same I told to the Iranian party. But one cannot rule out that the most logic decision will be made at last and ArmRosgazprom will be empowered to exploit the above section of the pipeline," the minister said.

He mentioned that ArmRosgazprom participates in all the gas projects in Armenia. It would be at least senseless creating a new consortium or organization for management of the new section, the minister said. "It is a natural decision which has not been made yet," the minister said. Vardan Oskanyan added that the Iranian party is also interested in participation in any issue related to the gas it will supply, reports Trend.

"I think, an optimal decision can be achieved through negotiations with the Iranian party," Minister Oskanyan said.

He mentioned that the opening of the gas pipeline is scheduled for December 26. The pipeline is ready, but testing is not over yet. The Iranian party will complete the testing within the shortest period of time and the pipeline will open approximately before the Iranian new year.

ArmRosgazprom currently works on the second section of the gas pipeline from Kajaran to Yerevan and on the increase of the carrying capacity to 2.5 billion cubic meters of gas annually. The construction of the second section will be completed in 2008. CJSC ArmRosgazprom was founded in 1998 on the basis of an Armenian-Russian inter-state agreement. Gazprom and Armenian Energy Ministry hold by 45pct in the company, the remaining 10 pct belong to Itera group. However, an issue of the company's shares in 2007 is not ruled out. As a result, Gazprom will become the owner of a 58pct stake, and hereby, the owner of the whole gas transportation net in Armenia and the Armenian section of Iran-Armenia gas pipeline.