SOCAR moves closer to gas exports to Iran

Jan. 6, 2010 at 11:30 AM
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BAKU, Azerbaijan, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- The State Oil Co. of Azerbaijan Republic is eyeing another round of talks with Iranian executives in order to put the final touches on a gas export contract.

Rovnag Abdullayev, president of SOCAR, said the company was working on repairs to infrastructure for gas exports to Iran, the Azerbaijan Business Center reports.

He said up to 17.6 billion cubic feet per day would head to Iran once final preparations are made. SOCAR is reluctant to offer a deadline, though Iranian officials said they expect exports to start as early as February.

SOCAR signed a contract with the National Iranian Gas Export Co. in December. A final memorandum of understanding between the two countries is pending.

Iran and Azerbaijan are connected currently through the 916-mile Kazi-Magomed-Astara gas pipeline. Its total capacity is 353 billion cubic feet per year.

Both countries hold some of the richest gas deposits in the world. Iran lacks some of the infrastructure it needs to make full use of its gas, however.

Azerbaijan is emerging as a regional gas giant, with several countries lobbying for access to its rich natural resources.

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