Iran will begin exporting gas to Turkey during the course of next year, said Rouzbeh Lotfalian, the director of Iran's northern and northwestern oil pipelines department, and was quoted by Irna, the Iranian news agency. Initially 3 billion cubic meters of gas will be exported annually by pipeline, and that volume will be increased to 10 billion at a later stage.
Lotfalian was speaking to in speaking in the port city of Astara , where reporters were on a tour of gas installations that pressurized gas reinforcement stations for the pipeline to Turkey. A second high-pressure pipeline is under construction via Zanjan to Tabriz in northwest Iran and will come on stream by the middle of next year.
Tehran and Ankara signed a multi-billion dollar gas accord in 1996 when the Turkey’s Islamist Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan was in office. In April, Iran announced the completion of its side of the pipeline. However, exports were delayed due to the non-completion of pipeline-laying operations in the agreed period on Turkish territory.
The gas deal is valid for 22 years from which Tehran will earn nearly $20 billion.
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )