UAE: Iran, Armenia to open new gas pipeline, United Arab Emirates
March 18 2007

Iran, Armenia to open new gas pipeline

by Reuters on Sunday, 18 March 2007 Iran and Armenia will inaugurate
a new gas pipeline between the two neighbours on Monday, the web site
of Iran’s oil ministry said on Saturday.

The move is part of Tehran’s strategy to add new export markets.

Iran plans to deliver 1.1 billion cubic metres of natural gas to
Armenia this year through the pipeline, the volume rising to 1.5
billion in 2013 and 2.3 billion in 2026, the ministry said, quoting
the country’s Natural Gas Company.

The deal was initially approved by Iran and Armenia over a decade ago
but was not finalised until 2004 because the issue of financing the
$200 million pipeline to Armenia was stalled.

Armenia’s gas and power markets are dominated by Russian firms.

Armenia is due to pay for the gas by exporting electricity to Iran,
which is currently embroiled in a dispute with the West over its
nuclear programme.

Iran has the world’s second largest gas reserves after Russia.

"It is expected that in 20 years a total amount of 36 billion cubic
metres of natural gas will be exported to Armenia and it is possible
that this amount reaches 47 billion cubic metres," the ministry’s web
site said.

The 141-km (88 mile) long pipeline cost $210-220 million to build, it
said, adding Armenia contributed $120 million. The two countries’
presidents will attend Monday’s ceremony at the border.

Iran exports only modest volumes of gas, mainly to neighbouring
Turkey, which has said gas imports from Iran are overpriced, of low
quality and subject to disruptions.