Iran says the construction of a 7-billion-dollar pipeline to transfer the country's natural gas to Europe will begin this year.
The feasibility studies on the part Iran will play in the pipeline project are almost complete, announced Iranian Deputy Oil Minister Seyyed Reza Kasaeizadeh.
The pipeline will join the European Union's flagship gas pipeline Nabucco and will carry gas from Iran's giant South Pars gas field to Europe, explained Kasaeizadeh, who is also head of the National Iranian Gas Company.
The Nabucco pipeline aims to diversify natural gas supplies to energy-hungry Europe and, once constructed, will carry 110 million cubic meters of natural gas per day.
Nabucco, scheduled to deliver its first gas to Europe by 2013, will reportedly span a distance of over 3,300 kilometers from the Caspian Sea via Turkey and the Balkan states to Austria.
Many energy analysts and officials describe Iran as fundamental to the gas pipeline project as it is seen as a reliable energy supplier. Iran has the world's second gas reserves after Russia.
The explosion occurred near the Turkish town of Dogubayazit some 17 kilometers (10 miles) from the Iranian border.
Officials from the Turkish energy ministry told the Anatolia news agency that the gas pipeline linking Iran's northwestern city of Tabriz to Ankara had been repaired and was ready to once again pump gas.
Turkey's state-owned oil and gas company, BOTAS, said tests were conducted on Friday as repairs on the pipeline were being completed.
The May 26 explosion caused a fire, which resulted in damage to the pipeline. Following the blast, Turkey was forced to increase its gas imports from the Russian gas monopoly, Gazprom, to 30 million cubic meters via the Blue Stream pipeline.
There was speculation immediately following the explosion that the blast was the work of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) rebels but a local official later suggested a 'technical malfunction' as the likely cause, Petroleumworld.com reported.
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