New Talks on Gas Export to Iraq

New Talks on Gas Export to IraqNew Talks on Gas Export to Iraq

A new round of negotiations between Iran and Iraq on gas exports from Iran has commenced, planning director of the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) announced.

Currently, final tests are being carried out on the pipelines constructed to transfer gas from Iran to its western neighbor, Hassan Montazer Torbati was quoted by Mehr news agency as saying.

Gas will be exported from Naftshahr region in Kermanshah Province in the first stage, by diverging branches of the Sixth Iran National Gas Trunkline (IGAT 6). Approximately 7-10 mcm in the first phase and then 2o mcm of gas is expected to be exported via the route to Iraq.

Torbati ruled out any limits on gas exports to Iraq, pointing to the 100-million-cubic-meter (mcm) increase in gas production from South Pars gas field.

To transfer gas to Iraq two routes have been mapped out, which will include Basra and Baghdad. The pipeline for the latter is near completion.

It's also possible to export gas from the southern Khorramshahr region, in Khuzestan Province, according to Torbati. "A pipeline could be constructed, transferring gas from Khorramshahr to southern Iraqi provinces, including Basra," he suggested.

A delegation of Iranian officials is to visit Iraq this week to resume negotiations and finalize details of the contract, Alireza Kameli, managing director of the NIGC said Saturday.

The Islamic State's offensive in Iraq over the past few months disrupted Iran's plan to deliver gas to Iraq, Kameli said, adding that the delegation will also discuss security issues concerning problems caused by IS on the way of building gas infrastructures in Iraq's Diyala Province.

Tehran and Baghdad signed a draft deal in 2013 to transfer Iran’s gas to two Iraqi power plants. There are plans to export 30-50 million cubic meters of gas per day to Iraq, the revenues from which is estimated at $4-6 billion.

He added that negotiations will soon begin for exporting gas to Oman and the United Arab Emirates.

After the implementation of South Pars Phase 12 development project and other pipeline projects, 22 billion cubic meter has been added to Iran’s gas production capacity.

More than 15 billion cubic meters of this amount has been transferred to power plants and it has been predicted that by mid-March, the pipeline transfer capacity will surpass 20 billion cubic meters.