Iran and Turkmenistan launch new gas pipeline

Dec 29, 2009 01:00 AM

Iran and Turkmenistan are to be connected by a second gas pipeline during a visit by the Iranian president to the central Asian state.
"The new pipeline could raise the volume of Turkmenistan's exported gas to Iran up to 14 bn cm annually," Iran's Ambassador to Ashgabat, Mohammad-Reza Forqani, told. He added that the 65 km gas pipeline has been completed in only four months, thus being considered as one of the world's fastest gas projects.

The new pipeline will pump natural gas from the Dauletabad gas field in south-eastern Turkmenistan, which has so far only been transferred to Russia. Iranian contractors are to carry out the project.
Bilateral trade between Iran and Turkmenistan reached $ 1.7 bn in 2007, over $ 1.4 bn of which consisted of Iranian exports to Turkmenistan. Turkmenistan announced in July 2009 that Ashgabat and Tehran have agreed to significantly expand Turkmen gas exports to Iran.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is expected to visit Turkmenistan on 5th and 6th January 2010 to inaugurate the Turkmenistan-Iran gas pipeline. The Atrak-Gorgan railway worth around $ 650 mm is another project to be launched in the presence of the Iranian president during the visit.
Iran's Oil Transportation Company announced in September that it was ready to transfer gas from Turkmenistan to Iraq and the UAE.

"The nationwide gas network is now connected to neighbouring countries from six locales," the managing director of the company, Reza Almasi said.
Tehran and Ashgabat signed an agreement in February 2009, which would allow Iran to develop the Yolotan gas field in Turkmenistan and import a portion of the extracted gas annually. Earlier in November, Turkmenistan said it has completed the construction of a gas pipeline to Iran that will help Ashgabat reduce its reliance on Russian-owned export routes.

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