Iran will turn into a major center of natural gas distribution in the Middle East in the coming years, said Director of the Gas Supply Department at National Iranian Gas Company Hamid-Reza Araqi in Semnan on Thursday, IRNA reported.
Araqi told IRNA that diversification of markets for Iranian gas, covering a number of countries, including Pakistan, Iraq and Turkey, will be top on the NIGC agenda.
Turning to Turkey, Araqi said nine billion cubic meters of natural gas have been exported to Turkey per day this year at a cost of nine to 10 cents per cubic meter on average.
He said Iranian natural gas will be sold 10 percent higher on the average next year.
He added that his company plans to raise share of gas in the energy basket by about 85 percent by end of the Fourth Five-Year Economic Development Plan (2005-10).
The official also touched on projects for establishment of new refineries in Ilam, Parsian and Masjed-Soleyman southwest Iran to boost national gas production capacity. He said studies are underway to set up several more refineries.
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