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Tuesday 20 September 2011

Turkmenistan Likely to Pump More Natural Gas to Iran


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TEHRAN (Fars News Agency) – Exports of natural gas from Turkmenistan to Iran is likely to boost after the Central Asian state put into operation a new natural gas compressor station.

The Central Asia-Center gas pipeline system is a Gazprom controlled system of natural gas pipelines, which run from Turkmenistan via Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan to Russia. The eastern branch includes the Central Asia - Center (CAC) 1, 2, 4 and 5 pipelines, which start from the south-eastern gas fields of Turkmenistan. The western branch consists of the CAC-3 pipeline and a project to build a new parallel Caspian pipeline. The western branch runs from the Caspian Sea coast of Turkmenistan to north. The branches meet in western Kazakhstan. From there the pipelines run to north where they are connected to the Russian natural gas pipeline system.

A report by Turkmen Neutral daily said that the station will boost the country’s annual export capacity by 2 billion m³ (bcm). The report added that the gas will be fed into the Central Asia-Center 3 pipeline, which is linked into supply routes to Russia and Iran.

Since Russian demand for Turkmen gas is weak, the gas will likely go to covering the unused annual capacity in an 8 bcm pipeline to Northern Iran.

Turkmenistan and Iran are currently joined by two gas pipelines, allowing for total deliveries of up to 20 bcm/year.

In January, Managing-Director of the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) NIGC J. Oji said that the country plans to further develop its gas fields and build more gas pipelines after the company inked several lucrative contracts in 2010.

The Iranian and Turkmen officials have in their recent meetings agreed to boost gas cooperation between the two countries after launching a new joint gas pipeline project which is due to increase Iran’s gas imports from the Central Asian state.

Late in November, Ahmadinejad and his Turkmen counterpart inaugurated the last section of a US $1.2-billion gas pipeline between the two countries. The 1024-km-pipeline has a daily capacity of 50 mcm. The 48" diameter pipeline allows possibly Iran to swap Turkmen gas to other countries.

The first phase of the pipeline came on stream in January 2010 to deliver gas from Turkmenistan’s Dauletabad (دولت آباد) field to Iran’s Khangiran (خانگیران) refinery. The second pipeline which passes through Dauletabad, Sarakhs (سرخس) and Khangiran regions was constructed after Iran felt extensive problems in supplying gas to its Northern parts.

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