Iran-Iraq Gas Pipeline Operational in 20 Days (FARS News Agency (Iran))

TEHRAN (FNA)- A top official at the Iranian Gas Engineering and Development Company (IGEDC) said the country will start supplying natural gas to the Iraqi capital by the end of the current Iranian month of Mordad (ends August 22).

“Testing 100 kilometers of the pipeline has been finished and the pipeline will commence exports of 5 million cubic meters of gas per day (mcm/d) to our Western neighbor in the upcoming 20 days,” managing director of IGEDC Alireza Gharibi said.

Gharibi added that gas exports to Iraq will rise up to 25 mcm/d after completion of the second phase of the Sixth Iranian Gas Trunk line (IGAT-6) by the end of the current Iranian calendar year (March 19, 2016).

The Iran-Iraq agreement for the supply of natural gas from Iran’s South Pars gas field to Iraq dates back to 2013 but the project has been postponed due to security concerns in Iraq.

Iran’s gas exports to Iraq are planned togo through two lines to Baghdad and Basra near the joint border.

Iran’s total gas exports to Iraq through these two routes have the capacity to be increased to 70 mcm/d, according to the officials of the National Iranian Gas Company.

Iran and Iraq have enjoyed growing ties ever since the overthrow of the former Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, during the 2003 US invasion of the Muslim country.

Iran, which sits on the world’s second largest natural gas reserves after Russia, is making efforts to raise its gas production by increasing foreign and domestic investments, specially in South Pars gas field.