TEHRAN, March 09 (Shana) — A senior Iranian oil official said Iran is prepared to start supplying natural gas to neighboring Iraq, adding gas will be sent to the Iraqi border in less than a month.
“We hope the Iraqi side is ready to receive Iran’s gas, however, we have learned that 20km of a pipeline to send Iran’s gas to Iraq’s Diyala Governorate is yet to be laid,” Deputy Petroleum Minister in International Affairs and Trading Amir Hossein Zamaninia told Shana.
Zamaninia made the remarks following a meeting between Iranian Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh and visiting Deputy Minister for Gas Refineries at the Ministry of Oil Fayaz Hassan here on Tuesday during which expansion of bilateral relations were discussed.
This was the first visit by an Iraqi delegation to Iran since Tehran struck a nuclear deal with the P5+1 group of countries over its nuclear program.
Speaking on the meeting’s highlights, Zamaninia said Iraqis have said they do not have serious problems to materialize the issues they have reached an agreement with Iran.
He said development of three joint oilfields with Iraq including Sohrab (Hoveizeh), Khoramshahr (Sandbad or Sabeh) and Parviz (Naft Khaneh, southern Iraq) was discussed during the meeting but future talks will be held in this regard.
The official said discussions about launching a two-way oil and products pipeline from Iran’s city of Abadan to Iraq’s city of Basra were held during the meeting as well.
Regarding training cooperation between the two neighboring countries, Iran has provided a thorough package and is ready to present it to Iraqis, added Zamaninia.
Upgrading and renovating Iraqi refineries by Iranian private companies, and Iran-Iraq cooperation in international oil markets were also discussed during the meeting, he added.
Iran’s gas will go to the Iraqi cities of Baghdad and Basra.
Gas exports to Baghdad will start with a daily volume of 4 mcm which could increase to 35 mcm/d, he said.
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 mega-projects, worth $1.5 billion, in Iraq for the time being.