Iran, Iraq, Syria Enter USD 10 Billion Gas Agreement

The 10 billion dollars trilateral deal is slated to transfer Iran’s gas to Europe via a five thousand kilometers pipeline that is going to pass Iraq, Syria and Lebanon territories, Javad Oji said at a press conference on Saturday afternoon.

South Pars gas field as a reliable source of gas is the main characteristic of this pipeline in comparison to Nabucco pipeline; Javad Oji said adding the gas field holds 16 trillion cubic meters of recoverable gas reserves and has the potential to provide gas up to 80 years with current level of withdrawal.

‘Immediately after signing MoU among Iran, Iraq and Syria an international consultant will start its work on choosing the route of pipeline and financier’, deputy minister of petroleum for gas affairs said adding the pipeline would be constructed in a three to five year period.

On the latest situation of export, import and swap of gas with the neighboring countries, the official said that currently 30 million cubic meters of gas are being exported to Turkey and 40 million cubic meters are being imported from Turkmenistan while gas trade with Azerbaijan, Armenia and Nakhjavan Republics are going on as usual.

Referring to satisfactory negotiations with European countries, NIGC’s managing director said: Currently 80 kilometers of the 56 inch sixth Iran’s gas trunkline (IGAT 6), that is slated to transfer gas to our partners, have been completed and construction of the remaining part is underway with appropriate speed that is forecast to be completed up to next two years.

In connection with the development of the new phases of South Pars gas field that is shared with Qatar and Iran’s independent gas fields, Mr. Oji noted that Iran’s gas production capacity would reach twice the current level in next two or three years while amid reduction of domestic gas consumption following implementation of targeting subsidies law, Iran will have the potential to export 200 to 250 million cubic meters of gas per day.

Referring to getting permissions from transit countries, NIGC’ chief said: Up to now more than 20 expertise sessions have been held with Turkey, Iraq and Syria on gas exports via their territories and fortunately all of them have given written permissions on the issue.

According to Oji the project will be funded in the form of BOO and BOT and up to now 15 European companies have expressed their readiness for marketing Iran’s gas exports.

Referring to European countries’ need to other reliable gas resources except Russia, Oji said: Iran has 33 trillion cubic meters of gas reserves so even if it exports 1.2 billion cubic meter of gas per day, its gas reserves will last for 150 years.

On the details of the gas pipeline to Europe, NIGC’s head said the pipeline starts from Assaluyeh (onshore installations of south pars gas field) and will pass 750 kilometers in Iran’s territory before reaching Iraq border after that the pipeline will be extended to Iraq, Syria, Lebanon finally reaching Europe.

‘Apart from this pipeline, Iraq is willing to take 20 million cubic meters of gas per day from Iran for a 5 to 10 year period pending development of its own oil and gas fields’, Oji told reporters.

On gas exports to Syrian before launching Iran-Europe gas pipeline, Oji noted Iran’s gas export pipeline to Turkey has the capacity to transfer 37 million cubic meters of gas per day and regarding Iran-Turkey contract that says Turkey could take up to 30 million cubic meters per day, currently Iran has the potential to export up to 7 million cubic meters of gas to Syria via the pipeline.

Oji also remarked that during the first four months of current Iranian year (that starts 21st March) the volume of gas exports to Turkey has grown by 7.6 percent in comparison to similar period last year.

Referring to obtaining permission from Turkey on transferring gas to Europe, Oji stated that Switzerland would be the first country in Europe to receive Iran’s gas.

Source:Icofc , July 25, 2011;