Iran completes engineering on Turkey gas line

Jan 20, 1997 01:00 AM

Iran has completed engineering work on a 260 km (162 mile) pipeline that will link its domestic gas grid to Turkey. "We have just finished the engineering and design work," said R. R. Sani, director for international affairs at the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC). The 40-inch diameter pipeline from Tabriz to the border town of Bazargan would be in place to allow the first supplies of Iranian gas to Turkey at the end of 1998. "It will take two years minus one month to lay the pipeline to the Turkish border," he said. Turkey signed a 23-year supply agreement with Tehran in August for the initial supply of an annual 3 bncm of Iranian gas from 1998. Sani said that the supply deal with Turkey did not represent an investment by Turkey in Iran's gas sector but was a standard "supply and purchase contract" and a trade deal that involved no cross-frontier investment. The estimated $ 150 mm cost of the 260 km pipeline to Turkey had been secured, he told. Most of the gas would come from gas fields in the southern Kangan region, but some would also come from output associated with oil at the major fields around Ahvaz. The major pipelines to pump the gas to Tabriz and then to Bazargan had previously supplied Iranian gas to the former Soviet Union before its break-up, as well as serving local needs. Three years after the start of exports to Turkey, gas from the first-phase development of the offshore South Pars gas and oil condensate field would also be utilised, Sani said. Initial gas exports would be 9 mmcm a day, compared to Iranian current production of 160 million. Sani would not give the price of the gas sold to Turkey but said it was a "competitive price" in comparison to Turkish imports of Russian gas and Algerian liquefied natural gas. Iran has the world's second largest gas reserves behind Russia and is drawing up projects to export its gas to Pakistan and also western Europe.

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