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Iran Wants Increased Stake In Azerbaijani Gas Field

BAKU -- An Iranian oil official says Tehran wants to invest $1.7 billion to help develop the second phase of Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz natural-gas field, RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service reports.

Part of the Shah Deniz project

Iranian Deputy Oil Minister for International Affairs Hossein Noqrekar-Shirazi said Tehran would like "at least 10 percent of the shares" in a project developing the second phase of the Shah Deniz field.

The National Iranian Oil Company currently owns 10 percent of the first phase of the Azerbaijani field, which is due to become fully operational by 2012-13.

The Shah Deniz field will deliver gas to Europe and will bypass Russia and Ukraine. It also supplies gas to Georgia.

Baku and Tehran have thus far held several rounds of talks in a bid to increase Iran's gas imports from Shah Deniz, which is Azerbaijan's largest gas field.


Copyright (c) 2009 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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