Middle East's biggest gas exporting contract was signed a few minutes ago in the Iranian port city of Asaluyeh by Iranian Acting Oil Minister Mohammad Aliabadi and his Syrian and Iraqi counterparts Sufian Allaw and Abdelkarim Laibi.
The proposed pipeline will take three to five years to complete and would go through Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea.
"More than $37 billion has been invested in Asaluyeh so far," Javad Oji, head of the National Iranian Gas Co.(NIGC) said on the sidelines of the ceremony.
There are plans to invest $54 billion more in the upstream and downstream industries of the region, he added.
He said that South Pars has been divided into 29 phases of which 10 phases are currently operative, producing 240 million cubic meters of natural gas. Another 9 phases of the project will come into operation by next year, he added.
Stressing Iran's capabilities to export natural gas to Europe, Oji added: "with respect to local consumption and production capacity of natural gas in Iran, we are able to export 200-250 million cubic meters of gas within the next 3 years."
Highlighting today's trilateral contract, Oji said that the gas exporting contract is for exporting Iranian produced natural gas through a pipeline running from Asaluyeh to Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, the Mediterranean and Europe.
Oji insisted that our friendly and brotherly neighbor countries, Iraq and Syria will approve the transit of Iranian gas export to Europe through their territory and said: "after signing this contract, a work-group from the three countries will be shaped to perform the necessary evaluations and choose a financier for the project within the next 4-5 months."
The project requires around $10 billion of investment, he concluded.
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