Iran said on January 3rd that it was ready to begin natural gas exports of 3 billion cubic meters (bcm) per year to Turkey.
Director of the National Iranian Gas Co. (NIGC), Handollah Mohammad-Nejat, said that Iran was waiting for Turkey to finish construction on its segment of the pipeline in order to begin exports.
The 1,200-km pipeline is due for completion by July, despite opposition from Washington to the project.
Mohammad-Nejat said that: “Our section of the pipeline to the border is already completed. We will start by exporting 3 bcm a year, to increase to 10 bcm by 2007.”
He indicated that Iran is expected to receive some $20 billion from gas exports to Turkey, after Ankara and Tehran had signed an addendum on August 2nd, 2000 to a 25-year supply agreement inked in 1996, specifying that Iranian gas deliveries would now begin on June 30th, 2001.
The gas deliveries are to be made through a pipeline from Tabriz in Iran to Ankara, with another arm stretching to the central industrial town of Seydisehir.
The 1996 agreement had targeted 1999 for the completion of the $450 million pipeline and for first deliveries to begin, but the neighbors agreed to the new 2001 deadline after Turkey was unable to find financing for the project amid concerns of being penalized by the U.S. extraterritorial legislation, the Iran/Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA).
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )