Iran, Syria, Iraq to sign major gas deal on Monday

09:06, July 25, 2011      

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Iran, Syria and Iraq will sign a major gas deal here on Monday to transfer Iran's South Pars natural gas to Europe, the semi-official ISNA news agency reported on Sunday.

Iran's caretaker oil minister Mohammad Aliabadi as well as oil ministers of Iraq and Syria will join the ceremony and choose a name for the pipeline to transfer Iran's gas to Europe, Iranian Deputy Oil Minister Javad Oji was quoted as saying by ISNA.

"Iran's gas output would be doubled within next two or three years due to expansion of gas fields, which makes possible the export of 250 million cubic meters of gas per day," Oji told a press conference on Sunday.

On Friday, the satellite Press TV said the contract will be signed between Mohammad Aliabadi and his Iraqi and Syrian counterparts at the Asalouyeh energy zone in Bushehr province on July 25.

Earlier this month, Iran and Iraq discussed cooperation on Iran 's gas transfer from Iraq and Syria o Europe during an official visit of Iran's First Vice President Mohammad-Reza Rahimi to Baghdad.

Iraqi ambassador to Iran Mohammad Majeed al-Sheikh also said on July 5 that the gas deal would allow Baghdad to use Iran's natural gas supplies.

In May, Oji said under the deal, natural gas produced in Iran's South Pars oil and gas field will be pumped through Iran, Iraq and Syria to Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea before reaching Europe.

The construction of the 5,600 km pipeline is estimated to cost five to six billion U.S. dollars, Oji added.

Oji said the pipeline would ultimately have the capacity to pump 110 million cubic meters of natural gas per day.

Iran has the world's second largest gas reserves after Russia but has struggled for years to develop its oil and gas resources.

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