AFP: Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his Turkmen counterpart Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov inaugurated on Sunday the last section of a pipeline to export Turkmen gas to northeast Iran, media reported.
TEHRAN (AFP) — Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his Turkmen counterpart Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov inaugurated on Sunday the last section of a pipeline to export Turkmen gas to northeast Iran, media reported.
The leaders inaugurated the final half of the 1,000-kilometre (620 miles) pipeline which links Tehran to Khangiran refinery near the northeastern Iranian town of Sarakhs, said the official IRNA news agency and state television.
The pipeline has a daily capacity of 58 million cubic metres or more than 20 billion cubic metres per year, Iran’s deputy oil minister, Javad Owji, said ahead of the ceremony.
Despite having the second largest gas reserves in the world, Iran’s own production of 600 million cubic metres per day barely meets domestic consumption.
Iran, which injects gas into oil wells to better exploit its oil reserves, also imports about 20 million cubic metres of Turkmen gas per day and exports about the same to neighbouring Turkey.
With an overall cost of 1.2 billion dollars, the Sarakhs-Tehran pipeline extends a cross-border pipeline launched in January between Turkmenistan’s Dovletabad gas field and Iran’s Khangiran refinery.
The cross-border pipeline between Iran and Turkmenistan has an annual capacity of six billion cubic metres or 16 million cubic metres per day which is expected to eventually double to an annual 12 billion.
Since 1997 Iran has also imported Turkmen gas via another pipeline with the capacity of eight billion cubic metres per year linking the Turkmen field of Korpedje on the Caspian sea to the northern Iranian town of Kord-Kuy.
Iran’s gas imports from Turkmenistan are expected to reach 40 million cubic metres a day (about 14 billion cubic metres per year) this winter, Owji said in June.
The Sarakhs-Tehran pipeline would also allow Iran to become a regional “gas hub,” by increasing its gas swap capacity with neighbours and having Central Asian gas transit through its territory to Europe, Owji was quoted as saying Sunday by Iran’s English-language Press TV.