Offer to Buy More Azerbaijan Gas.
Iran is ready to purchase as much gas Azerbaijan can supply. This was announced by the Iranian ambassador to Azerbaijan, Mohammad Baqer Bahrami, in a press conference held in Baku.
"We are ready to buy up to 10 billion cubic meters of gas from Azerbaijan," Azeri Trend News quoted Bahrami as saying.
At present, Azerbaijan supplies 2 million cubic meters of gas per day to Iran. From this, about 800,000 cubic meters are supplied to the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic under a swap deal, while the rest is supplied under a short-term contract.
In the first half of January, the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) and the National Iranian Gas Export Company (NIGEC) signed a short-term contract for the supply of 100 million cubic meters of gas to Iran until March-April 2010.
The gas will go to Iran's northern regions, which are closer to Azerbaijan and further from Iran's own gas fields.
SOCAR earlier declared its intention to build a new pipeline to export gas to Iran. Work on the new Sangachal-Azadkend-Astara pipeline is expected to begin in 2010 and end in 2012. It will be financed by SOCAR.
The 200-km pipeline will have a throughput capacity of 18 million cubic meters of gas (6.57 billion cubic meters per annum).
The existing pipeline between Azerbaijan and Iran is intended for low-pressure gas transport only, which limits growth in gas exports.
Azerbaijan and Iran are connected by the Gazi-Magomed-Astara-Bind-Biand gas pipeline, which is 1,474.5-kilometer long. Its capacity was 10 billion cubic meters a year, but is now lower. This route is a branch of the Gazakh-Astara-Iran pipeline commissioned in 1971. Three compressor stations Gazi-Magomed, Aghdash and Gazakh were built.