Iran has began pre-startup tests on a pipeline built to transport natural gas to Iraq to feed the country’s power plants, says an Iranian official.
“After the end of cleaning and calibration pigging, 97 kilometers (Iran’s section) of the pipeline will become operational,” Alireza Gharibi, managing director of Iranian Gas Engineering and Development Company, said on Friday.
He added that the 97-kilometer pipeline, 48 inches in diameter, will be linked to Iran’s gas trunklines (IGATs) to deliver natural gas from Iran to Iraq.
Last month, Iran’s Deputy Oil Minister for International Affairs and Trading Ali Majedi said Iran is expected to start pumping gas to Iraq early next Persian calendar year, which starts on March 21, 2015.
Iran has agreed to export 25 million cubic meters (mcm) a day of gas to Iraq, but the gas delivery will start at seven mcm per day.
The 270-kilometer pipeline stretches from the village of Charmaleh, located in Iran’s western province of Kermanshah, into the town of Naft Shahr on the border with Iraq.
The pipeline, which is estimated to earn Iran USD 3.7 billion a year in revenues, will be fed by the massive offshore South Pars gas field in southern Iran.
The South Pars gas field, which Iran shares with Qatar in the Persian Gulf, is estimated to contain 14 trillion cubic meters of gas and 18 billion barrels of condensate.