TEHRAN August 15(Shana)–National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) has prepared the draft of a deal to export Iran’s natural gas to neighboring Iraq, an NIGC official said.
Director for international affairs of NIGC Azizollah Ramezani said the draft was agreed upon after three days of talks with a visiting Iraqi delegation in Tehran.
He said the draft will be considered by top energy officials of the two Asian states for endorsement.
“Once the agreement has been signed by the two countries, Iran’s natural gas flow will start to Iraq,” the Iranian official said.
Iran’s gas export to Iraq will start at 4mcm/d which is scheduled to reach 25.mcm/d.
Ramezani said offering technical, financial and executive training to Iraqi manpower was also discussed during the talks and agreements were reached in this regard.
Iran will also start supplying 5mcm/d of gas to Basra after a six-year deal is signed. The deal, which is to be signed next year, would require Iran to raise gas exports to Basra to 30 mcm/d.
Gas delivery to Basra would come from Iran Gas Trunkline VI (IGAT 6) which transfers gas from the giant offshore South Pars gas field in southern Iran to the border province of Khuzestan.
Part of the gas to Iraq will be used for generation of gas to address some of the country’s electricity troubles.
Iraq is facing serious load-shedding and Iranian companies are operating 33 megaprojects, worth $1.5 billion, in Iraq for the time being.
The 97-km pipeline envisaged to transport Iran’s natural gas to Iraqi border will start up by late August, a senior gas official said in July.
Alireza Gharibi, managing director of Iranian Gas Engineering and Development Company, said the final tests as well as cleaning and calibration pigging on the pipeline are completed and the pipeline will be ready to export Iranian natural gas by August 20.
He added that the pipeline, 48 inches in diameter, will be linked to Iran’s gas trunklines (IGATs) to deliver natural gas from Iran to Iraq.
In its first phase, the pipeline will carry 5mcm/d of natural gas from Iran to Iraq, he said, adding that the amount will raise once the line is linked to IGATs.
Iran has agreed to export 25 million cubic meters (mcm) a day of gas to Iraq, but the gas delivery will start at seven mcm per day.
The 270-kilometer pipeline stretches from the village of Charmaleh, located in Iran’s western province of Kermanshah, into the town of Naft Shahr on the border with Iraq.
The pipeline, which is estimated to earn Iran 3.7 billion dollars a year in revenues, will be fed by the massive offshore South Pars gas field in southern Iran.
The South Pars gas field, which Iran shares with Qatar in the Persian Gulf, is estimated to contain 14 trillion cubic meters of gas and 18 billion barrels of condensate.
Iraq needs Iranian gas for power generation to solve a part of its load-shedding problem which is causing unrests in parts of the country during hot summer days.